Zinedine Zidane believes it was the right decision to rule out a Luuk de Jong goal in Real Madrid’s 2-1 victory over Sevilla on Saturday.
Madrid moved top of LaLiga as two goals from Casemiro secured all three points at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite De Jong having briefly made it 1-1 in the second half.
The striker thought he had given Sevilla the lead half an hour in, but his header was disallowed following a VAR check, with referee Juan Martinez Munuera instead penalising Nemanja Gudelj for blocking Eder Militao in the build-up.
Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui was aghast at the decision and director of football Monchi claimed he would have taken the team off the pitch had they seen a goal disallowed for a second time when VAR was used to check a possible handball by Munir El Haddadi.
Zidane, though, sees little reason to feel the decisions changed the game.
“What I can say is that I saw the incident and it’s a block, there’s a foul, the referee saw it on VAR, and he gave the foul,” the Madrid boss told reporters.
“For the second, there’s a hand, he doesn’t give it. I can’t explain anything, and I never get into evaluating these things. It’s for the referee to decide.
“Sometimes these things go against you and sometimes in your favour. It’s a difficult job. It’s for them to decide.
“For me, there’s a block, it’s a foul and it’s really normal.”
@Casemiro ON FIRE
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 18, 2020
When asked about Monchi’s comments, Zidane replied: “I don’t think the referee was that decisive. He did what he had to do.
“There’s a hand for their goal, but that wasn’t given. What can I say? I’m not going to get into it.
“It’s a complicated game for everyone. We played against a good team, but the result is logical for what happened on the pitch.
“What he said is his responsibility. It’s not for me to say anything. In the end, it’s the referee who decides.
“What he said seems a little strong to me, but I’m not going to prevent the Sevilla sporting director from speaking.”
Zidane went on to praise the performance of Casemiro, who proved Madrid’s unlikely hero by scoring twice in the same game for the first time in his career with the club.
“Good, because in the end he got two goals and that’s not usual,” he said of Casemiro’s performance. “I’m happy for him. We can make the difference in attack with any player.”
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