Despite Real Madrid securing maximum points in San Sebastian, the game featured a series of controversial referring decisions.
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The final game in match-day 30 in the 2019/20 LaLiga campaign between Real Sociedad-Real Madrid was overshadowed by controversial refereeing decisions with Zidane’s side ultimately walking away from San Sebastian with maximum points in a 1-2 win.
The first polemic of the night occurred early in the second half after Vinicius was clipped by Llorente with Ramos tucking home the resulting spot kick. Former UEFA referee and now analyst with AS, Iturralde González deemed that the match official Xavier Estrada was correct in awarding a penalty stating: “It is a penalty as the defender clips Vinicius just as he’s shaping to shoot and as a result of the trip fires the ball wide. A penalty and a card for Llorennte were the correct decisions”.
La Real disallowed goal
The second major talking point of the evening centred on the disallowed goal for Real Sociedad substitute Januzaj. The Belgian international drilled the ball into the back of the net but the goal was ruled out with the argument being that Mikel Merino was in an offside position and blocking Courtois’ vision. Iturralde González considered that this goal should have been allowed: “The level of interference by a player such as Merino is judged by the distance between the offending player and the goalkeeper. If the player makes a movement to block the keepers line of vision or duck from the path of the ball. Interference in a case like this is a very subjective matter rather than factual and I personally feel that an offside should not have been awarded, especially considering that the attacking player is outside the six yard box and at least 5.50 meters away from the goalkeeper”.
The hand of Benz.
The final talking point of the night arose in the 70th minute which resulted in the second goal of the game. Benzema fired home after controlling the ball on his shoulder after an assist from Fede Valverde. Immediately VAR was consulted to ensure that the French striker didn’t use his arm to control the ball. The former referee upon being consulted on the decision stated: “It’s not crystal clear if the ball is controlled with the shoulder or the upper arm but I feel that Estrada made the right call.
Iturralde also stated that Casemiro was lucky to be awarded with just a yellow card for his first half foul: “If the ref. awards a red, then noting could be argued. It’s not 100% red but the player does go in leading with his elbow.
Real Sociedad themselves were clearly angered with the referring performance with the club website leading with a headline of “It’s impossible this way” accompanying a match report of the night’s action.