Valverde: Action-packed Clasico would still be going if VAR was used

Technology was the major talking point after 10-man Barcelona claimed a 2-2 draw at home to Real Madrid in La Liga at Camp Nou on Sunday

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde says La Liga teams will have to show patience with the introduction of video technology next season.

VAR, which is already used in Serie A and the Bundesliga among other leagues, will be implemented in La Liga for the 2018-19 campaign, with the video assistant referee also set to be used at the World Cup in Russia.

Valverde was commenting after a typically frantic Clasico against Real Madrid at Camp Nou on Sunday, the champions remaining unbeaten following a 2-2 drawdespite Sergi Roberto’s first-half red card.

Roberto left referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez with little option but to show the red card after thrusting a hand into the face of Marcelo, but Gareth Bale escaped punishment having appeared to stamp on Samuel Umtiti’s calf.

Madrid also felt Marcelo should have been awarded a penalty for a foul by Jordi Alba following Bale’s equaliser, while Luis Suarez seemed to trip Raphael Varane in the build-up to Barca’s second goal.

An intense Clasico left plenty to discuss post-match despite little riding on the result, Barca having already completed a domestic double, while Madrid are looking ahead to a Champions League final against Liverpool.

And both Valverde and Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane were unwilling to be critical of the officials despite some decisions going against both teams.

“Luckily we don’t have VAR yet, or we’d still be playing,” joked Valverde in his post-match news conference. “The team made a great effort with 10 against Madrid, we overcame that adversity, but we would have liked to win.

“The referee did not know who benefited the most [from decisions], it will have to be seen on TV. It’s complicated to be a referee and we have to understand them, I come here as coach of Barca and I see everything in my favour.

“The sending-off of Sergi Roberto hurt us and I know him – I doubt he was going to hurt [Marcelo].

“Technology is going to be good for football, but it will take time to adjust, the important thing is that the games have rhythm, at the beginning it will be complicated, but there are plays that require it.”

Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid

Zidane was also unwilling to pore over individual decisions made by the officials during the game.

“I am not going to talk about the refs, I never do,” Zidane said. “Next year it will change, with VAR, and we will see how a game like this ends up.

“There was nothing in play but we saw a good game from both teams. Everyone who likes football can be happy with a game like that.

“Always the football is more important than the ‘controversies’ people want to make.”


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