Ronaldo hints at conspiracy theories as Real suffer defeat in El Clasico
Cristiano Ronaldo hinted there was a conspiracy to ensure Real Madrid lost to Barcelona after the Catalans won the Clasico 4-3 at the Bernabeu.
The former Manchester United player suggested that "some people didn't want to see Barca out of the title race" as their rivals now sit just a point behind in La Liga.
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick for the visitors, two from the penalty spot, and Sergio Ramos was sent off for the home side for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, a decision the Portuguese star disagreed with strongly.
Ronaldo was furious with the performance of referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco, although he did award Madrid a dubious penalty which the Portuguese converted, as Carlo Ancelotti's team lost for the first time in 32 games.
"It was tough game," said Ronaldo. "There were some people that didn't want us to win or see Barca out of the title race. I've been here for a long time. It obviously bothers people when Real Madrid win. It makes them jealous. There isn't a level playing field.
"The referee made so many mistakes. They have to assign a referee who lives up to the game's importance. He was pale and very nervous. I'm not trying to justify myself. There were a lot of things. Some people wanted Barca to stay in the title race and they did.”
"My penalty might have been just outside the area, but there are many things that went on. It is difficult when many people didn't want us to win today."
Ancelotti was less critical of Mallenco, but did agree that Ramos's red card swung the game in Barca's favour.
"I haven't seen it again and it is difficult for me to comment on the decisions of the referee because there were many. However, it was the key moment. We were winning 3-2 and controlling the game well, but it is much more difficult to control the game with a player less."
Defeat leaves Madrid still joint top of the table on 70 points alongside Atletico Madrid, but in second place due to their inferior head-to-head against their local rivals with Barca a point further back in third. And Ancelotti is seeking a immediate response from his side with a difficult looking away game against in-form Sevilla to come on Wednesday.
"Obviously we are not happy because we have lost a big opportunity, but we will continue fighting until the end," Ancelotti said. "There are nine games left and it will be an intense race.
"The league is open for all three teams and any game could be decisive. We need a good reaction on Wednesday because that could be the key game of the season."