FC Barcelona News

Frustrated Ronald Koeman Cuts Short Press Conference After El Clasico Penalty Debate

Ronald Koeman believes Barcelona should have been awarded a penalty
Ronald Koeman believes Barcelona should have been awarded a penalty / Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman cut short his post-match interview following Barcelona's 2-1 El Clasico defeat on Saturday - a result that could have a huge bearing on the LaLiga title race this season.

First-half goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos saw Real Madrid move to the top of the table as Barca dropped to third behind Atletico Madrid with eight games to go. Koeman was frustrated with the referee's decision to tell Martin Braithwaite being told to play on upon going down in the final 10 minutes.

The striker suggested that he had been clipped from behind by Madrid left-back Ferland Mendy in the 84th minute, but referee Gil Manzano waved on play, leaving Koeman extremely annoyed. "If you are a Barcelona fan, you should be heated up and unhappy with the two decisions from the referee. In the second half, there was a clear penalty," he said.

"Then, one time, we have to accept it and move forward. I've said what I think If there was a penalty given, it would've been 2-2. I don't know why there is VAR in Spain. You have a referee, a linesman, a fourth referee, VAR, and everyone thinks it's a penalty [except for them].

"You saw the play. Was it a penalty or not?" the coach then proceeded to ask the reporter.

The journalist responded by saying that it was up to the referee to make the decision. Koeman decided the reporter was trying to evade the question and walked out of the press conference. Meanwhile, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane sided with the referee, saying: "If the referee has not whistled, it is because there is no penalty. The extra time can be three, four, five or six minutes… He decides."