Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has blamed the match officials for his side’s Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona.
After Barca’s 2-0 victory at the Bernabeu last week, Real boss Jose Mourinho claimed Barcelona have received favourable treatment from Europe’s referees in recent years.
That attack stemmed from Wolfgang Stark’s decision to send Pepe off when the scores were 0-0 and, at Camp Nou on Tuesday, Real were again left unhappy with a controversial call, when referee Frank De Bleeckere disallowed a Gonzalo Higuain goal after ruling that Cristiano Ronaldo had fouled Javier Mascherano.
“When we scored the first goal it would have been totally different and we feel so many bad decisions have been made against us and we are not happy about that,” Alonso told Sky Sports. “We think we did a good job but decisions went against us. We really feel that way.
“[The goal] would have changed everything. Our position would have been much stronger and after that it was much more difficult.”
On whether Real’s tactics were wrong, Alonso added: “No, I don’t think so. Until the sending off [of Pepe in the first leg], we were doing really well and it looked like it was going to finish 0-0 and with tonight’s result we would have gone through.”
Asked about Alonso’s comments, Barca coach Pep Guardiola said: “I don’t have time for that. It has been a tough 20 days and we have played the richest team in the world many times. The referee may have had an influence but we were very good in the second match.”
Real captain Iker Casillas insisted his team-mates could be proud of their performances despite being knocked out by arch-rivals Barca.
“Real Madrid had no inferiority complex,” he told Spanish television. “We played our way and the fans can be proud. We came to defend the honour of this club and this shirt. It was more than just another game for us. There is little else to say because of the consequences [such as a suspension].
“Higuain’s goal is nothing more. It was another [decision against us], like always. We cannot do anything now but we were able to do our club proud.”