Zinedine Zidane demands respect after Madrid win at Bilbao
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Zinedine Zidane demands respect after Madrid win at Bilbao

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has hit out at critics for claiming that Los Blancos are benefiting from favourable refereeing after they closed in on the LaLiga title with a 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Captain Sergio Ramos struck from the spot, his 22nd successful penalty kick, for the game's only goal after a VAR review showed Marcelo had been fouled by Dani Garcia.

Athletic, however, were denied a spot-kick late on when Ramos appeared to tread on their forward Raul Garcia.

Real beat Getafe on Thursday with a late penalty and pundits have pointed out that big decisions had gone their way in recent victories over Valencia and Real Sociedad.

Zidane has predictably dismissed favouritism suggestions adding that the title will be won or lost on marginal calls. 

“It’s easy to ... talk about controversies but that’s not the case, we are doing phenomenally well. We are giving everything on the pitch and we deserve everything we are achieving,” Zidane told a virtual news conference.

“I don’t like to get involved in these discussions but what I cannot accept is hearing that we are top of the table because of referees’ decisions.

“We deserve more respect for what we are doing and I’m tired of people saying we are winning because of referees.”

Real have won all seven of their matches since action resumed in La Liga following a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and hold a seven-point lead over title rivals Barcelona, although the Catalans can pull the gap back to four against Villarreal later on Sunday.