Real Madrid and Barcelona were unlikely to get through an entire match without a refereeing incident of note, and this El Clasico has focused on a potential red card for Vinicius Junior.
In the first half, Vinicius and Frenkie de Jong got into battle for the ball, which ended in Vinicius grabbing the Dutchman by the neck and bringing him to the ground.
— mídias tiagosepz (@mtiagosepz2) March 2, 2023
He was then admonished with a yellow card. A video has since emerged of referee Juan Luis Munuera Montero appearing to tell Eder Militao that his compatriot should have been sent off.
'Eder, Eder, listen to me.'
'Eder, it's a red, ok?'
'It's a red, he grabs him by the neck and he throws him to the ground.'
Juan Luis Munuera Montero appears to admit he could have sent Vinicius Junior off last night.pic.twitter.com/GDdvH722Y4
— Football España (@footballespana_) March 3, 2023
This obviously involves a degree of lip-reading, which has been interpreted differently by others. The key words are Es Roja [It’s a red], but others believe Munuera might have been saying Le Coge [He takes him], which would be significantly less scandalous.
Llamadme loco pero yo creo que le dice “le coge”, haciendo énfasis, porque le está explicando por qué es amarilla. Luego se lo vuelve a repetir. ¿Que se puede interpretar “es roja”? También, pero no lo afirmaría con tanta rotundidad. https://t.co/xvWYQQY971
— Juanma Romero (@Guardiolato) March 3, 2023
The footage is unlikely to lead anywhere, with no proof of what he said, but it will serve to continue the constant back and forth between the two clubs and fanbases.
Perhaps more pertinent is the opinion of former referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez, who felt that Vinicius should have seen a second yellow immediately after for his protests. The Brazilian marched off in the other direction shouting ‘it’s always the same’, before turning round, recriminating Munuera close to his face and pointing at the referee too.
Atletico Madrid felt aggrieved at the sending off last weekend of Angel Correa, and it seems like no coincidence that shortly after the incident, Stefan Savic posted a story with nothing but the circus emoji on his story.
Don Stefan Savic. pic.twitter.com/TdROCzeec0
— REY CHOLO (@Reycholosimeone) March 2, 2023