Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has come out to express his displeasure over the perceived inconsistencies of VAR in La Liga.
The Bluaugrana fell to a 3-1 defeat to their heated rivals Real Madrid in 'El Clasico', stretching their winless run against the capital side to three matches. The loss also saw them drop to the unfamiliar position of 12th on the La Liga points table.
In what was an explosive start to the match, Federico Valverde put the visitors ahead inside five minutes, but Ansu Fati was on hand three minutes later to restore parity for Barcelona and become the youngest goal scorer in Clasico history.
A contentious penalty was won and converted by Sergio Ramos midway through the second half before Luka Modric put the gloss on the scoreline with a brilliant individual goal late in the game.
Speaking after the match, Koeman voiced his thoughts on the match and opined that VAR was unfairly used to award the penalty for the second goal. He said:
"I don't understand VAR, I think it is only used to make decisions against Barca.
"You always get shirt tugs like that in the area and I think Ramos makes a foul on Lenglet first. There's a tug of the shirt, but not enough to make him fall behind as he did ... for me it's not a penalty."
Sparking further controversy for the 57-year-old was the decision by the referee to not consult VAR for two penalty incidents involving Barcelona - a Raphael Varane challenge on Lionel Messi and another possible handball by the Frenchman.
''We have had five matches and [VAR] has only been used to go against Barca. It's never gone our way," said Ronald Koeman.
"The decision had a big influence on the final result, because we were playing well up to the penalty. We played well, we created chances and it's difficult to understand how we lost, we didn't deserve to lose how we did," he added.
Real Madrid were accused of getting several big VAR decisions in their favor last season, particularly post-lockdown. But regardless of what Koeman might say or think, the bottom line is that his Barcelona side were simply not up to the mark on the occasion.
Barcelona and the quest to reclaim top spot
The last year has been one of the gloomiest in the illustrious history of Barcelona. Having suffered the ignominy of the 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich, the club was then rocked by Lionel Messi's transfer request.
Ultimately, the club captain stayed put but there are indications that he would leave next summer, which is hardly ideal for the Catalan giants.
Ronald Koeman was appointed to help steady the ship at Camp Nou but almost two months into his reign, things look as tardy as ever.
The loss to Real Madrid was the latest in a long line of problems that include misfiring forwards, a static midfield and a chaotic defence. The former Barcelona captain would have to start finding answers soon.Published 25 Oct 2020, 19:53 IST