Escriba: Not worth complaining

Fran Escriba has advised his Elche players to focus on their performance against Real Madrid, rather than the refereeing controversy.

The promoted outfit had equalised Cristiano Ronaldo’s early second-half free-kick with Richmond Boakye’s header a minute into stoppage time.

However, three minutes on from that, Madrid claimed all three points through Ronaldo converting a penalty controversially awarded for a foul from a corner on Pepe.

“My players do not deserve to have to talk about the referee,” Escriba, who was ejected alongside his assistant Coach for their protests, reflected post-match.

“That is what reporters are for. We do not gain anything. There may be good reason, but I do not feel like it and it is not worth it.

“The support of the fans, the behaviour of my players, it is not merited. I saw the play and I know what happened, but I will not give importance to a person who does not deserve it.

“My line has always been to respect referees. I do not want to talk about anything to do with this man, and I say this with respect.

“I will stick with the effort [of the team], which is what will motivate me tomorrow.

“We have been ordered against a tremendous team. The team were at their best and we did everything that we could. We neutralised Madrid and the feeling is that they barely created anything.

“We fell to an unforgivable mistake in the first goal. Cristiano had one of his worst free-kicks since being in Spain and the wall opened up.”

Escriba’s sending off was the first of his coaching career.

“If it was for protesting then I protested. At that time of course I will protest. In the 10 years before I have only taken a yellow card and even then the referee recognised that it was unjust.”

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