Football

Zinedine Zidane demands more respect after Real Madrid's latest win


Zinedine Zidane has claimed it is unfair that Real Madrid are consistently being accused of benefitting from favourable refereeing decisions.

Los Blancos beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Sunday afternoon thanks to captain Sergio Ramos’ penalty, which was awarded by VAR for a foul on Marcelo by Dani Garcia.

Later in the match, Athletic had their own penalty shouts waved away despite Ramos seeming to tread on forward Raul Garcia.

Zidane’s side also beat Getafe 1-0 thanks to a Ramos penalty in the week, while there appear to have been favourable refereeing decisions in recent wins over Valencia and Real Sociedad.

Zidane refuted claims his side are “winning because of referees”

However, the French manager rubbished claims that Real have surged to a sizeable lead at the table’s summit thanks to marginal refereeing calls.

“It’s easy to…talk about controversies but that’s not the case, we are doing phenomenally well. We are giving everything on the pitch and we deserve everything we are achieving,” Zidane said to a virtual press conference.

“I don’t like to get involved in these discussions but what I cannot accept is hearing that we are top of the table because of referees’ decisions.

“We deserve more respect for what we are doing and I’m tired of people saying we are winning because of referees.”

Real have won each of their seven games since La Liga resumed last month. They trailed Barcelona during the coronavirus-enforced break but now hold a seven-point advantage over their rivals, though the Catalan giants can slash the gap to four points with victory against Villarreal on Sunday evening.

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The victory at Bilbao’s San Mames Stadium marked Los Blancos’ fourth clean sheet in a row and Zidane was keen to highlight his side’s defensive performance.

He added: “What I liked the most was our defensive solidity, that is proving to be our strength at the moment and the key to our balance. When we lose the ball we all defend together and recently that’s what we have been doing very well,” he said.

“We are lacking a bit of brilliance at the moment in attack, we can always improve in that respect but the most important thing is that once again we showed our strength in defence.”

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