Barca defender Lenglet refutes Clasico penalty claims and urges VAR respect
The centre-back was joined by Ivan Rakitic in being called out by the Blaugrana’s eternal rivals
Clement Lenglet called for two contentious refereeing decisions to be respected after Real Madrid were left disgruntled with VAR during Wednesday’s goalless Clasico.
The Barcelona defender was fortunate not to concede a penalty when he caught Raphael Varane’s thigh with a raised boot in the first half at Camp Nou.
Referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez allowed play to continue and decided against punishing another apparent infringement on Varane a few moments later, the Madrid centre-back tumbling to the floor following a tug on his shirt from Ivan Rakitic.
Neither incident was reviewed on the pitchside monitor as video officials opted not to intervene.
Madrid called attention to the “two controversial moments” in a statement on their website after captain Sergio Ramos criticised the failure of technology to fix what he viewed as “pretty clear” fouls.
“The Frenchman could have had two penalties in the first half but Hernandez Hernandez did not give either of them,” Madrid wrote.
“On minute 17, [Varane] went to head a corner before Lenglet stood on his thigh muscle in the area, but neither the referee nor VAR [where (Ricardo) 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.”
Lenglet, meanwhile, disagreed with the capital club’s sentiments and said the decisions should be respected.
“For me, it’s not a penalty,” he told Movistar when asked about his challenge on fellow France defender Varane.
“I wanted to get the ball out with my head and give strength to my movement. I used my body and legs for that and unfortunately I touched Raphael’s leg.
“I’m the protagonist and I know I’m going to clear the ball. I’m not a player who likes to kick people. But if some believe it’s a penalty, it’s up to the VAR. The VAR made a decision and must be respected.”
Madrid winger Gareth Bale later had a goal disallowed for an offside against Ferland Mendy as neither side mustered a winner.
Jordi Alba squandered a good chance for Barca before Lionel Messi, who had one attempt cleared off the line, made a mess of a late opportunity to snatch all three points.
“We had clear scoring chances,” Lenglet said. “Two for Messi, Luis Suarez. We’re left with a bittersweet feeling.
“Madrid are a team with quality and when they come here, they come more to defend.”
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