Ronaldo is wrong about Clasico referee, says Xavi

The Barcelona midfielder claims that the official made the correct call for all three penalties in Sunday's thrilling match and says that there are no title favourites any more
Barcelona midfielder Xavi says that Cristiano Ronaldo's criticism of the referee in the Blaugrana's 4-3 win over Real Madrid in Sunday's Clasico is "wrong".

Los Blancos were 3-2 up at the Santiago Bernabeu when they saw Sergio Ramos dismissed for a challenge on Neymar, with Lionel Messi converting two subsequent penalties to complete his hat-trick and secure all three points for Barca.

The result leaves Atletico Madrid top of La Liga by virtue of their superior head-to-head record over Carlo Ancelotti's side - with the capital clubs just one point clear of Barca - and prompted Ronaldo to allege that Madrid were playing "against 12".

However, Xavi has defended referee Undiano Mallenco and claims that the official made the right call with all three spot-kick decisions, one of which went against the visitors.

"Cristiano is wrong and his criticism is harsh," the 34-year-old told the press. "As far as I'm concerned, they were all penalties, including the one from Dani Alves on Cristiano, from what I could see on the pitch."

Despite reigning champions Barca hauling themselves back into the title race, Xavi does not feel that there are any outright favourites to lift the trophy with nine games to go.

"Atletico are the leaders and they're a warrior-like team, they're battlers," he added. "There are no favourites from now on, though - there are three teams who can win the title."