James Rodriguez accused the officials of being too lenient towards Villarreal as they held Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Madrid were chasing a 17th consecutive win in LaLiga, which would have been a record in the competition, but were forced to settle for a point as Sergio Ramos cancelled out Bruno Soriano’s first-half penalty.
Zinedine Zidane’s side saw appeals for a penalty waved away as they piled on pressure in the second half, with Ramos and Karim Benzema both aggrieved not to have seen decisions go in their favour.
Madrid’s match delegate Miguel Porlan Noguera was even sent to the stands in the closing minutes after directing his frustrations at the fourth official, while referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez booked Dani Carvajal for protesting after the final whistle.
James conceded that Madrid started the match too sluggishly, but hit out at the officials for granting Villarreal too much leeway and for only adding on three minutes of stoppage-time at the end of the second half.
“We have to begin games with much greater intensity and desire,” he said, as quoted by Madrid’s official website. “We must say that we put in a very good second-half display and we deserved to have scored a second. You’ve also got to realise that we were up against a good side.
“They wasted time and they were allowed to do whatever they wanted. At the end of the game there were only three minutes of stoppage time added on and I think that it should have been five or six.”
Lucas Vazquez, who came on as a second-half substitute, added: “I think it was a clear penalty on Benzema and we’d like to ask the referee why he added on such little time.
“We have to work hard so these decisions don’t affect us. We’re all angry not to have won at home and we have to learn from our mistakes.”
Carvajal, meanwhile, is determined to pick up maximum points against Las Palmas on Saturday in order to preserve their two-point lead over Sevilla at the top of the table.
“I don’t think the referee had a great game, especially in the time he added on,” said the full-back. “In the second half there were five changes, constant time wasting on their part… it’s not an excuse but I don’t think the referee was very good in that sense.
“On Saturday, we’ve got a difficult game in Las Palmas, where we’ll give it all we’ve got to take the three points and keep ourselves at the top of the table.”