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La Liga preview: Can Barca bounce back?

La Liga about an hour ago
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Ancelotti praised by Toni Kroos

Real Madrid 20 hours ago
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 Posted by Dermot Corrigan
Mar 25, 2014

Ronaldo and Ramos protests dismissed

ESPN FC's Joao Castelo-Branco and Martin Ainstein believe that the Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo battle was the key to Barcelona's El Clasico victory.

Spain’s referees committee has "denounced" Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos for suggesting a conspiracy boosted Barcelona to a 4-3 victory in last Sunday’s clasico, but the Real Madrid players are highly unlikely to face any match bans.

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Immediately after the game Ronaldo told reporters at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu that referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco had been biased and made errors as "they" did not want his side to win the title, while Ramos said his own sending-off in the game had been wrong and "envy" of Madrid led to it being deliberately punished by officials.

The Comite Tecnico de Arbitros [CTA] reportedly made the official complaint to La Liga’s disciplinary committee on Monday. The players could be fined up to 3,000 euros, although there is no precedent of match bans ever being handed out for public comments after a game. The disciplinary committee is due to meet on Wednesday, just hours before Madrid’s next Liga game at Sevilla.

Madrid's hierarchy are said to be still considering whether to appeal Ramos’ red card to free him to play at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, with reporters close to the club claiming they hope the committee will look on their case favourably given no official complaint will be made for the incident which saw Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets’ boot apparently make contact with Pepe’s face while the Madrid defender was on the ground.

The CTA also reportedly called Undiano Mallenco to congratulate him on a performance in which even Marca’s readers reckon the Navarre-official got most of the big decisions right. The row can be seen as a continuation of an enmity between Madrid and referees chief Victoriano Sanchez Arminio, which heightened during the furore when Ronaldo got a three-game ban for a sending off at Athletic Bilbao last February.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo, happy to see his team now top of the table on head-to-head record from Real Madrid, and a point ahead of third-placed Barcelona, has taken the chance to present himself as an upholder of fair play and footballing values in the wake of the storm started by Ronaldo and Ramos.

“To complain when something is immovable is not worth the effort,” Cerezo told AS. “You cannot change anything at that point. I saw the Madrid-Barcelona game and if in one of the penalties whistled, even after seeing the replays, we did not know exactly what happened, how can you ask something different of the referee? They get things right the majority of times.”

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