The Germany midfielder believes a controversial penalty awarded in their draw against Sevilla will be the pivotal moment in the title shake-up
Toni Kroos says he is still angry at a refereeing decision earlier this month that he believes has cost Real Madrid the title.
With the game against Sevilla on May 9 level at 1-1 with 12 minutes left, Los Blancos thought they had won a penalty when Karim Benzema was brought down in the area. However, after a VAR check the referee instead awarded a penalty to Sevilla after spotting an earlier handball by Eder Militao.
Ivan Rakitic converted to to put Sevilla 2-1 ahead before Eden Hazard equalised deep in stoppage time – with Kroos still furious at the officiating.
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What did Kroos say?
An angry Kroos confronted referee Juan Martinez Munuera at full time to demand an explanation alongside his manager Zinedine Zidane, and his frustration has not subsided in the subsequent days.
Speaking to the Einfach Mal Luppen podcast , Kroos said: “I’m not someone who likes to moan, but, in that case, I was extremely annoyed.
“Zidane never really says anything about decisions and he always protects the referees. So, the fact that he went to the referee after the game was a sign that he too felt a little ripped off, as did I.
“The referee tried to justify himself, but it’s a very clear wrong decision in my opinion.
“My opinion is very clear and it is very rare that I disagree with the referee at all. I did on that day.
“If you feel you’re being disadvantaged, that’s one thing where I say ‘it’s not on’.
“[Militao] had his back to the ball and didn’t even see the ball, while in slow motion you can see that the ball first goes to his shoulder and then to his arm. We were told that if the ball ricochets off another part of the body, then it’s not a handball.
“To look at it again and to revise it, because he didn’t whistle it live, is a serious intervention in the championship.”
Real Madrid went on to win their next two matches but leaders Atletico Madrid have also won back-to-back games in that time, meaning Real trail their city rivals by two points going into the last weekend – two points Kroos believes were unfairly taken from them against Sevilla.
“If, in the end, we don’t have enough [to win the title] in my opinion this was a situation that also contributed to it. For me this is clearly a situation that had an influence,” he added.
“It’s not about being bitter, it’s about being angry.”
The bigger picture
Though the decision of the referee is up for debate, it is clear those two dropped points will likely be significant in the final shake-up.
Had Real Madrid beaten Sevilla they would moved above Atletico Madrid in the table courtesy of their superior head-to-head record this season, meaning they would only have had to better their result on the final day to become champions.
As it stands Real have to beat Villarreal and hope Atletico fail to win at Real Valladolid to have a chance of claiming the title.
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