BARCELONA (Reuters) – Real Madrid will appeal Cristiano Ronaldo’s second yellow card for diving in the Spanish Super Cup first leg at Barcelona, coach Zinedine Zidane said after the Portuguese showed the best and worst side of his game in Real’s 3-1 win.
Ronaldo spent 24 minutes on the pitch after not starting the game at the Nou Camp but still had the biggest impact.
The 32-year-old, who was given a hostile reception by Barca fans as he warmed up before replacing Karim Benzema, hit back moments after Lionel Messi’s equaliser with a brilliant strike into the top corner to put Real 2-1 up in the 80th minute.
The Portuguese threw off his shirt after scoring and provocatively held it up to the crowd and was booked.
Two minutes later he was sent off for trying to win a penalty in a challenge from Samuel Umtiti, angrily pushing referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea before leaving the pitch.
“We played a great game but I am annoyed by Cristiano’s sending off,” Zidane told a news conference.
“Perhaps it wasn’t a penalty but the red card is a little harsh. We can’t change it, but we’ll try and make sure he plays on Wednesday.”
Madrid captain Sergio Ramos also leapt to Ronaldo’s defence.
“I think he was caught off balance and he didn’t dive,” said the defender. “We should try and appeal it. It should be analysed a little more.”
Marco Asensio scored Real’s third with a stunning long range goal in the 90th minute, giving Madrid a healthy advantage as they seek to win a fourth trophy in four months and earn their first Super Cup since 2012.
“We fought with 10 players, we believed until the end but it’s only one game, we have the second leg up next,” added Zidane.
Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said his side had not deserved to lose 3-1.
“I don’t have the sensation we were as far away from them as the scoreline suggests,” he said. “They scored three times, but we played well and had our chances.
“They caught us on the counterattack when it was 1-1 and scored a great goal, and then another one. But it’s not just about getting into the danger zone, it’s about putting your chances away.”
(Reporting by Richard Martin)