Wednesday night’s hotly-anticipated El Clasico proved to be a bit of a damp squib in the end.
Widely considered the biggest game in world football, Barcelona and Real Madrid were unable to make a breakthrough as the ninety minutes ended without a goal.
There were, however, a few moments of excitement with both Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos forced into goal-line clearances at either end.
Madrid were left feeling hard done by though after having two very good penalty shouts dismissed by both the on-field referee and the VAR.
In the first instance, Clement Lenglet was guilty of an ugly challenge on Raphael Varane in the box, planting his studs into the Frenchman’s thigh – the incident was waved off.
- Messi best scorer and creator in the 2010’s
- Ronaldo’s superhuman header
- Salah’s brilliant assist v Monterrey
Then, just two minutes later Varane clearly had his shirt pulled in the box by Ivan Rakitic but appeals for a spot-kick once again fell on deaf ears.
Madrid have not taken kindly to the lack of action taken by the officials either, going so far as to post a not-so-subtle article about it on their website.
“Raphaël Varane was involved in two controversial moments in el Clásico at the Camp Nou.
“The Frenchman could have had two penalties in the first half but Hernández Hernández did not give either of them.
“On minute 17, the Madridista went to head a corner before Lenglet stood on his thigh muscle in the area, but neither the referee nor VAR (where De Burgos Bengoetxea was in charge) deemed it a penalty.
“Two minutes later and following another corner, the central defender had his shirt pulled by Ivan Rakitic, which saw him end up on the ground in the penalty area.
“However, once again, neither the referee or the VAR system decided to award the penalty.”
Not a happy bunch then.
The result leaves the two eternal rivals level on points at the top of La Liga, with Barca’s superior goal-difference keeping them just on top.
Madrid aiming their ire at the officials shows they know just how much of a missed opportunity Wednesday’s clash was.
In a race as tight as this, every single point could count in the end.