Zinedine Zidane was left annoyed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s dismissal in the Spanish Super Cup victory at Barcelona, insisting the red card was harsh on the Real Madrid star.
Ronaldo produced a memorable cameo as Madrid defeated arch-rivals Barca 3-1 in the first leg of the Supercopa on Sunday.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner came off the bench and scored Madrid’s second goal with 10 minutes remaining at Camp Nou before being booked for taking off his shirt in celebration.
Ronaldo was then shown a second yellow card for diving after going to ground under pressure from Samuel Umtiti two minutes later, much to the frustration of Madrid head coach Zidane, before the Portuguese compounded his troubles by shoving the referee.
Ronaldo sensationally shoves referee
“As always, I’m not going to get involved in discussing the work of the referee,” the Frenchman told reporters.
“We played a great game, but what annoyed me was Cristiano Ronaldo’s dismissal. Maybe there’s no penalty, but to show a card [for alleged diving] was a little harsh.
“However, we cannot change that, even if we’ll try to have him available for Wednesday.”
Madrid drew first blood away from home when Gerard Pique turned the ball into his own net five minutes into the second half.
Lionel Messi restored parity 13 minutes from the end via the penalty spot, before Ronaldo and fellow substitute Marco Asensio put Madrid in a commanding position heading into Wednesday’s return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“With 10 men we fought and we believed in the victory right to the end,” Zidane said. “This, though, was only one game and now there is the return leg.
“We are happy with the result, but the tie is not decided and we have to play on Wednesday. We’ll enjoy tonight and then from tomorrow we’ll start working towards Wednesday.”
Zidane was particularly complimentary about star attacker Isco and goalscorer Asensio.
On Isco, Zidane said: “When he signed for Real Madrid I was close to the team and I saw him training and he needed time and to play regularly. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s making a difference, he makes the team play and it’s difficult to get the ball off him.
“I’m glad for him because he’s growing. We must continue like this. We’ve only just started.”
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“Asensio doesn’t surprise me,” Zidane added. “What he does is phenomenal. He’s fast and strikes the ball very well.
“We’re happy with him and with everyone. It’s not easy to come on like that for 15 minutes. He came on and was quickly in to the match and made the difference. Isco, [Mateo] Kovacic and everyone else had a great game. We must emphasise the team performance.”
Source: Sporting News