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Sergio Ramos Says VAR Missed 2 'Clear' Penalties to Real Madrid in El Clasico

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 18: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid reacts during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on December 18, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images)
Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said VAR failed to award two penalties to his side in their goalless draw with Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Wednesday. 

Raphael Varane twice appeared to be fouled in the penalty area during a first-half corner, first by a shirt -pull from Ivan Rakitic, and then by Clement Lenglet when he caught his French compatriot on the thigh with his studs.

Ramos told Movistar (h/t Goal's Joe Wright): "We saw them at the break and they look pretty clear. They're both penalties, but we can't change that now. VAR is here to help. It's bad luck. On another day, it'll be our turn to have a penalty that they don't check."

The Spanish Football Podcast observed the early controversy in the match, while AS provided images of both incidents:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

Already controversy at Camp Nou - Varane fouled by Lenglet, looked a clear penalty, also had his shirt pulled by Rakitic. Expect to hear *a lot* about those incidents depending how the game goes...

Diario AS @diarioas

🤔 ¿Ves dos penaltis sobre Varane? #ElClasico 🔁 Sí ❤️ No https://t.co/1F9rvF71jV

The high challenge from Lenglet left its mark on Varane:

MARCA @marca

🤷 ‍♂️Así quedó el muslo de Varane tras el pisotón de Lenglet que no se señaló como penalti https://t.co/C95bYkM3Ls #ElClásico https://t.co/3pRB0KjiP2

Real Madrid followed the lead of their captain, with the club's official website stating "neither referee nor VAR system saw two penalties on Varane."

Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez, who officiated the game, did not consult the pitchside monitor to review either incident.

Real also had a VAR call go against them in the second half when Gareth Bale had the ball in the back of the net, but it was disallowed for an offside against Ferland Mendy.

It was a frustrating night for the visitors, who were dominant in the first half with 12 shots on goal.

Casemiro had a header cleared off the line by Gerard Pique, although Barca also had some excellent chances, too. Ramos had to intervene on the line to clear a goal-bound shot from Lionel Messi, and Jordi Alba failed to hit the target after the Argentinian had picked him out in space:

As football writer Dermot Corrigan observed, it has been some time since both sides failed to score against one another:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Tonight first goalless Clasico since Nov 2002 - 49 since across LaLiga, Copa del Rey, Supercopa and Champions League without a 0-0.

Ramos saw plenty of positives from Real's performance, though:

"We saw a great Real Madrid today, with a lot of personality, on a very tough pitch. We went to steal the ball, which helped us create many chances. There were few mistakes and that's the end result.

"We controlled the game quite well. We had more chances than them. It's not easy to get the ball off them. The strategy of pressing high worked well."

Real have now lost just twice in their last nine visits to the Camp Nou in all competitions.

Wednesday's draw means the two sides remain level on points after 17 matches. Their head-to-head record for this season is even, so Barca are ahead thanks to their marginally better goal difference.

Given there has been little to separate the two sides so far, the title could rest on the second Clasico of the campaign when Barca visit the Santiago Bernabeu on March 1.

Barcelona have won six of their last seven matches at the Bernabeu, so they perhaps have the edge in the title race.