How VAR Controversy Hands Real Madrid Victory Over Almeria

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Real Madrid secured a thrilling 3-2 victory against Almeria in a LaLiga clash filled with VAR controversy.

Dani Carvajal’s remarkable strike in the ninth minute of stoppage time saved the day for Real, propelling them to the top of the league standings with 51 points. Girona, trailing by two points, will face Sevilla in a crucial match later today.

In a surprising turn of events, Almeria, who had yet to secure a victory in the 21 LaLiga matches this season, took control of the game with an early goal from Largie Ramazani within the first minute.

Adding to Real Madrid’s woes, Edgar Gonzalez delivered a remarkable volley from a distance, leaving the first half in a dismal state for the Madrid side, who failed to register a single shot on target.

Real manager Carlo Ancelotti, visibly frustrated, opted not to join his players in the changing room during halftime. Instead, he made three strategic substitutions at the start of the second half, injecting renewed energy into his team.

With Vinicius Jr and Jude Bellingham applying relentless pressure, Real managed to narrow the gap in the 56th minute through a penalty awarded to Bellingham after a lengthy VAR check, which sparked debate due to a questionable handball.

However, Almeria’s Sergio Arribas had his effort from a counter-attack disallowed shortly after due to a lengthy VAR check, as ruled by referee Francisco Maeso. Maeso deemed that there was an infringement in the build-up, harshly adjudging Almeria midfielder Dion Lopy to have fouled Bellingham when he caught him in the face while trying to regain his balance.

Just five minutes later, Maeso initially disallowed Real Madrid’s equalizer due to a handball by Vinicius Jr, but after another VAR review, he awarded the goal, determining that it was off the shoulder. This decision left Almeria’s players and manager Asier Garitano furious.

Bellingham also had a goal ruled out due to a controversial offside in the build-up, and he came close to scoring again with an acrobatic scissor kick that narrowly missed Almeria’s goal as Real Madrid made a late push.

READ ALSO: AFCON: Algeria Survive Burkina Faso’s Scare After Late Equaliser

In the ninth minute of added time, after several near misses and a red card for manager Garitano for complaining to the referee, Bellingham displayed his skill inside a crowded box, delivering a cross to Carvajal who tapped in the winning goal at the far post.

“Today we were robbed,” Almeria’s Gonzalo Melero told DAZN.

“It pains me to say it, but there’s no other way to take it. And that’s not the first this year. What happened today went beyond all limits, it was unbelievable.
“Nothing more could have been done for them to win the game…”

Real Madrid defender Carvajal disagreed.
“If Melero watches the plays calmly, he will surely realise that they are correctly refereed,” Carvajal told DAZN.

“I said to my team mates at halftime that anything could happen until the last minute and it did. Thanks to our fans who carried us up to the sky.”

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