SportsReal Madrid's controversial 4:1 victory over FC Barcelona: An undeserved penalty or fair call?

Real Madrid's controversial 4:1 victory over FC Barcelona: An undeserved penalty or fair call?

"Scandal". They thunder after the referee's decision in El Clasico.
"Scandal". They thunder after the referee's decision in El Clasico.
Images source: © EPA, PAP, STR, Sport.es

2:07 AM EST, January 15, 2024

Sunday's face-off for the Spanish Super Cup was notably one-sided. Real Madrid swiftly took control over FC Barcelona at the Al-Awwal Park stadium in Riyadh, finally winning with a 4:1 score. Xavi's team managed to respond to goals from Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo with just a solitary goal from Robert Lewandowski.

The match was disastrous for FC Barcelona, who found themselves trailing 0:2 within just 10 minutes. However, Lewandowski then scored a fantastic goal, reviving the hope of Blaugrana fans for a better outcome.

Real Madrid scored a third goal before half-time amidst controversy. Catalan media fearlessly call out a refereeing scandal.

The contentious penalty awarded by Martinez Munuera, which caused much debate, sealed Real Madrid's victory. When Barcelona reduced the gap to 2:1, a confrontation between Araujo and Vinicius occurred, in which Araujo's hand grazed the Brazilian causing him to go down. The referee didn't hesitate to award a penalty without giving the VAR system the opportunity to revisit the incident - the newspaper reports.

Scandal in FC Barcelona's match. Experts have their say

Spanish sportswriters consulted two former recognized referees to illuminate this debatable situation. Mateu Lahoz points out that the referee was within his rights to award a penalty, given the considerable risk the FC Barcelona defender took, which left room for a penalty call.

"Text after El Clasico in the Catalan 'Sport'"
"Text after El Clasico in the Catalan 'Sport'"© sport.es

Iturralde Gonzalez, an expert commentator on Cadena SER radio, begs to differ." I don't believe there were enough grounds to rule a penalty," opined the Spaniard, who also rebuked the referee for inconsistency. According to him, if the referee saw fit to award a penalty in this situation, Araujo should have been shown a straight red card and immediately sent off the pitch.

Watch the penalty incident (from 2:45)

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