'It's a joke' - Carlo Ancelotti and Xavi CLASH over Clasico offside call as Barcelona extend La Liga lead over Real Madrid to 12 points
- Kessie netted stoppage-time winner
- Asensio saw earlier effort ruled out
- Coaches disagree over big decision
WHAT HAPPENED? The Blaugrana ultimately ran out 2-1 winners at Camp Nou on Sunday, with Franck Kessie netting in stoppage-time to send the Catalan giants 12 points clear at the top of La Liga. Los Blancos thought they had grabbed a late winner of their own when Marco Asensio guided the ball home from close range, but his effort was eventually ruled out following a VAR review into the tightest of offside decisions.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Madrid boss Ancelotti was less than impressed with that call, which deemed that Asensio’s shoulder was inches beyond the last man, with the Italian telling reporters afterwards: “We did not win because of an offside that we're still doubtful about. It was not so sure. We have doubts about it, and we go back to Madrid with this doubt.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Unsurprisingly, Barca coach Xavi had a slightly different take on a decisive moment that paved the way for his side to go on and claim all three points in a crunch clash. He said, when reacting to Ancelotti’s complaints: “It's a scientific question. It is clearly offside and there is no doubt. If people are talking about the VAR today, it's a joke. The offside is very clear.”
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WHAT NEXT? Barca are now edging their way towards a title triumph in Spain – while also holding a 1-0 aggregate lead over Real in their Copa del Rey semi-final – with Madrid being left to focus on the defence of their Champions League crown as they prepare to face Chelsea in the quarter-finals of that competition.