Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone complained that Real Madrid receive preferential treatment from referees after a straight red card was shown to Angel Correa in a 1-1 draw against their rivals in Saturday’s derby.
Simeone was fuming over referee Gil Manzano’s sending off of Atletico forward Correa in the 64th minute after an elbow to the chest of defender Antonio Rudiger with the score 0-0.
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“A contact is not a blow,” Simeone told DAZN after the game. “Football is a physical game. If I’m not mistaken, Rudiger measures 1.94m and if it was apparently such a brutal blow, it would have left him sitting down, but he immediately gets up.
“It may be a yellow [card] but taking a player out for that, there would be no players left on the field.
“It’s the same story. It is normal, and it has become normal [refereeing favouring Madrid] and that’s not right and it would be nice if we could all compete in the same way.”
Angel Correa sent off in Madrid Derby
Angel Correa sent off in Madrid Derby
It was the third time this season that Simeone felt his team had been punished unfairly against Madrid.
Atletico had Stefan Savic red carded in their 3-1 extra-time loss at Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarterfinal on Jan. 26 and had Mario Hermoso sent off in their 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in LaLiga on Sept. 18.
“In the Copa del Rey, they could have sent off [Madrid’s] Dani Ceballos for a foul that was a red,” Simeone said. “Today, Angel’s foul they saw it that way. You have all seen it, there are things that are very clear.”
Simeone was asked about the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and said: “It can go either way, sometimes in your favour, sometimes against you.
“However, every time we come here [to the Bernabeu stadium], it goes against us.”
Atletico also expressed their anger thtorugh the club’s official Twitter account, which tweeted: “Nothing new at the Bernabeu.”
This is how our “aggressor’s” leg looks like.
Nothing new at the Bernabéu. pic.twitter.com/atik2J1Poo
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) February 25, 2023
After the sending off, Atletico nevertheless went ahead through Jose Maria Gimenez in the 78th minute before giving away Alvaro Rodriguez’s equaliser seven minutes later.
“We are left with the feeling that we could have won the game,” Simeone said. “We knew that Madrid at the end of games are very dangerous.
“We overcame Reinildo’s injury, also recovered from Correa’s sending off and took the lead. We could have defended better so as not to concede the equaliser, but we must continue on this positive path.”
Simeone, meanwhile, confirmed that Atletico defender Reinildo has suffered a serious knee injury that will keep him out of action for the remainder of the season.
The Mozambican defender was stretchered off in the first half with a suspected torn right ACL.
“It’s a serious injury,” Simeone said. “We have to wait to see what the doctor says after the tests carried out in hospital. It’s a pity. We send him a lot of strength. He will return to play in five or six months.”
Saturday’s result left Real Madrid second in LaLiga, seven points behind Barcelona, who visit Almeria on Sunday.
“LaLiga has become more difficult now,” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “It already was prior to this game, and it is even more after this game. What we are going to do is fight until the final game.”
Ancelotti, whose side came from 2-0 down to beat Liverpool 5-2 in their midweek Champions League round of 16 first leg, admitted his team weren’t at their sharpest.
“We lacked a little bit of mental freshness, especially when being in numerical superiority,” he said.
There was one positive for Madrid and that was teenage forward Alvaro Rodriguez scoring his first goal on his first-team debut at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“He is a youngster that has a lot of enthusiasm to play for Real Madrid and he has scored for the first time at the Bernabeu,” Ancelotti said.