Referee made a mistake, admits Martino

The 50-year-old believes Real Madrid probably should have been awarded a penalty in Saturday’s Clasico and feels his side are favourites to win La Liga
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino admits the referee probably made a mistake in not awarding Real Madrid a penalty in his side's 2-1 Clasico win.

Alberto Undiano twice waved away ardent appeals for a spot-kick from the visitors at Camp Nou, firstly for a perceived handball against Adriano and later for a push on Cristiano Ronaldo from Javier Mascherano.

Martino concedes the official may have made the incorrect call but insists that should not detract from his side's impressive win on Saturday.

"There was probably a mistake from the referee, but a match was also played and we have to concentrate on that," he told reporters.

"Barcelona were the better side in the first half, Madrid were better in the first 25 minutes of the second and then the end of the match was fairly even.

"To respond to what the Madrid players have said would be taking advantage of the situation.

"It's fine for them to say the referee made a mistake if they think he did.

"I find it hard to accuse a referee of that so easily. It's possible that he made a mistake, and that's all."

Barcelona face Celta Vigo on Tuesday in their next Liga encounter and Martino has warned his side to be wary of any hangovers from the weekend win.

"It's always dangerous after a Clasico. We had to think about Osasuna, Milan, then Madrid and now we're looking to [the game against] Celta. There's no room to get comfortable.

"Winning a Clasico is always a psychological boost. I said before the game that this [mental] effect would be greater than the points. What’s more, we won a very hard game in which there were spells that we were better and spells that we were second best."

The win propelled Barcelona six points clear of Real Madrid, and a point ahead of Atletico Madrid for first place in La Liga, and Martino believes his side are proving themselves as worthy favourites to defend their title.

"Barca were already favourites when they beat Levante [on the opening day of the season], and the same was true in the fifth game or the 1oth," added the Argentine. "The club's status and history make it a favourite, whatever competition it plays in."