Real Madrid eked out a 2-1 win against lowly Elche in La Liga on Wednesday night thanks to a dubious 95th-minute penalty call by refereeMuniz Fernandez. After a tussle in the box from a corner kick saw both Carlos Sanchez and Pepe fall to the ground, Fernandez hesitated and then pointed to the spot. Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored Real’s first, duly converted.
Even Marca, which is a distinctly Real-leaning publication, pointed out that the scene that saw Pepe earn a penalty for his team was basically a 50/50 that plays out in just about every professional soccer game and almost never produces a whistle. “In fact, if anything, a foul could have, or perhaps should have, been whistled on Pepe as the Portuguese defender clearly was holding the arm of Elche's Colombian midfielder while falling to the ground,” the sports daily said.
Meanwhile, Barcelona President Sandro Rosell, speaking to reporters at a conference in Bilbao, said: “I still can’t believe it. Looking at the evidence, there’s no need for me to make any more comment on the issue."