NO PROBLEM finding coverage of the goings-on at El Madrigal last night. Of course, it's hard to find a neutral Spanish paper, but El Pais is probably as close as they come, and they do report on Pepe's insult to the referee after the match as well as the cards handed out to the Madrid coaches:
More from Marca on the attempts by Cristiano and Pepe to get something started after the game--credit to our coaches and players for avoiding it and getting to the dressing room without incident:
As various sites report, Real Madrid blamed the referee for last night's draw. Lotina was asked about the referee and said he had enough to do watching the players he's hardly trained, so couldn't comment:
If you missed it, the two most contentious decisions in a night full of them were whether Villarreal should have been awarded at least one penalty in the first half when Nilmar was pulled down, and whether the foul that led to the free kick was something of a 'makeup call'.
AS has footage here of these calls; clearly the first call was wrong, in the second it's not clear Altintop fouled Oriol, in their judgment. They also note Angel could have been sent off for a foul on Xabi, just as Lass could have been earlier. And Bruno's foul on Callejón was missed.
If you are a real glutton for punishment and want to see the Oriol-Altintop play around 80 times, laSexta's analysis is for you! Rafa Guerrero says we should have had two penalties, the alleged Zapata handball was not, and by the way, the Oriol call was correct.
I actually think he's right about most of this, though the shirt pull on Ruben would have been a ticky-tack call and you KNOW Madrid is not going to get called for that. I'm less sure about the Altintop play, even having seen it so many times, but the referee was very close to it. It's the sort of play that hardly ever gets called in the EPL but frequently in La Liga, it seems to me. Certainly if it had been the other way round, our opponents would have been clamoring for a free kick and probably a yellow card as well.
Actually, one thing I realized watching the replay was that although the Madrid players felt the referee had initially planned to let the infraction go and then changed his mind, I don't think that was so. It looks to me as though the delay was simply because he was backing up to get out of the way of the ball and two players, because he never turns around to see where the ball was and whether he should play advantage.
Enough of that. Writeups on the match in general from Jose Luis Lizarraga, here (he says we played a 4-1-3-2, btw); and from a fan's perspective, Abrahan Guirao, here. Oh, all right, we do have to include this one, basically saying Mourinho reaps what he sows (the coach didn't show up for the post-game press conference, leaving Marcelo to face the microphones).
One curious note before the game came from our VP Llaneza, who referred to an insulting comment regarding Lotina by someone. Well, the someone was Bernd Schuster, who I guess was upset not to be contacted about our coaching vacancy. Bernd burns bridges, let's just say, though some of his comments might be spot on:
Overall, then, satisfaction that Villarreal battled to win a deserved point. Should we have tried harder to attack the last five minutes when up by two men? Probably so, but don't forget Madrid's greatest danger comes from counterattacks, and it would have been horrible to get caught out and lose another point in injury time. We'll take what we can get.