Real Madrid beat Sporting Gijon 2-1 courtesy a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo and managed to hang on despite a rather average performance from their players at the Santiago Bernabeu. Sporting Gijon’s Carlos Carmona pulled a goal back for the visitors but striker Duje Cop missed a penalty towards the end, failing to secure a draw for his side.
Real Madrid were dominant in the opening 25 minutes when they scored both the goals but then did not continue with the same intensity and put the game beyond Gijon who duly clawed their way back.
Here are a few talking points from the game.
#1 How do referees spot simulation more effectively?
Not many noticed it initially, but replays showed later that Lucas Vasquez clearly threw his foot and body onto Isma Lopez. The contact was ushered by Vasquez who fell to the floor after it. To be fair, the defender had stuck a foot out and invited it but Vasquez appeared to win the penalty by simulation.
It was the 4th minute of the game and Gijon’s evening could not have started off worse. Ronaldo stepped up and slotted home making it 1-0 to the home side. The question is, how do referees, not just in Spain but all over Europe, stop this kind of simulation where players thrust themselves crashing their own leg purposely onto a defender’s outstretched one.
Perhaps the referee in the middle or the linesmen should be trained well enough to spot this in real time because if players of teams like Real Madrid do it against smaller teams like Sporting Gijon as well then there really is no hope for the smaller clubs.