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Valverde moves on from referee controversy

Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde says they have distanced themselves from the refereeing controversy in their Cope del Rey loss to Real Madrid.

Valencia fell to a 2-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu last week after a Karim Benzema strike and an own goal from Andres Guardado gave Real the victory.

Valverde was also sent to the stands by the referee after the second goal, but the 48-year-old said his team need to move on from the contentious decisions as they prepare to meet Real again – this time at home – in league action on Sunday.

“There has been a lot of talk about the referee and not too much about the game,” the former Olympiakos trainer told Marca.

“We have tried to keep out of the row these last few days. We had a good game but there were also mistakes. Our plan is to concentrate on sporting aspects, as that is the only thing we can control. I understand that refereeing mistakes are part and parcel of the game.

“We can’t say too much because if we protest then Granada might then come along and say one of their players was sent off for no reason,” he said, alluding to Valencia’s 2-1 victory earlier this month.

Valverde’s men sit seventh in La Liga and he insists Sunday’s encounter holds great significance for both teams.

“It’s a game in which both teams have a lot to play for,” he said.

“The three points would raise us up a few places, and Real Madrid will be looking for them to keep a safe distance between themselves and their rivals.”

Valencia are seven points behind Real Madrid, who occupy third spot with 37 points from 19 games.

Sun 20 January, 2013
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