Carlo Ancelotti was reluctant to blame the referee for Real Madrid’s defeat to Villarreal because he thought neither team’s penalties should have been given.
Madrid were beaten 2-1 at Estadio de la Ceramica on Saturday as Los Blancos were denied the chance to return to LaLiga’s summit ahead of Barcelona playing Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
Yeremy Pino gave Villarreal the lead just after half-time, before referee Cesar Soto Grado took centre-stage.
Juan Foyth was penalised when the ball brushed his hand as he tried to grapple with Vinicius Junior, allowing Karim Benzema to equalise.
But Foyth then won a penalty at the other end on the very next attack as his pass was cut out by the hand of David Alaba, whose arm appeared to be outstretched to break his fall.
The second incident – which yielded Gerard Moreno’s match-winning spot-kick – looked particularly contentious, hence Ancelotti being asked after the game if Madrid had been hard done by, but the Italian thinks his team’s penalty award was harsh as well.
“We have to get used to this,” he told Movistar+. “When there is a hand in the area, it is a penalty, for either side.
1949 – @realmadriden have lost their first league game in a calendar year two consecutive times (2022 vs Getafe, 2023 vs Villarreal) for the first time since 1948 – 1949 (vs Alcoyano and Barcelona respectively). Septuagenarian. pic.twitter.com/fW2Xblq6j6
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 7, 2023
“If it was up to me, neither one nor the other [is a penalty]. We have to get used to it, because this is the rule.”
During his press conference, Ancelotti added: “Soccer has changed in that sense. There is a clear rule, for everyone, if it is touched with the hand and it is not close to the body, it is a penalty.
“If you slip or don’t slip, it’s not important. You have to get used to this.
“The two penalties, with the rule, are correct. The fans don’t like this, but the referees have to respect this rule.”
There was not any doubt regarding Ancelotti summary of the match, however, adamant the Yellow Submarine were worthy winners.
“They played better than us and when you do, you deserve to win,” he said. “The game was even, competitively, [but] Villarreal played better than us.
“The key is that we did not defend well in our half. We were not compact enough, we left balls between the lines and they took advantage of it.
“They played very well, at a high level. We didn’t, especially defensively.
“We have been dangerous [going forward], but we have left too much control in things that we usually do very well. We must focus well to solve the problem.”