Snowstorm play, Real Madrid fume
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois joined coach Zinedine Zidane in criticising organisers La Liga for not postponing his side’s game at Osasuna on Saturday due to a snowstorm.
The match finished 0-0, denting Real’s title bid, after they were ordered by La Liga to travel to Pamplona the day before the game due to storm warnings, but had to wait for four hours on the icy runway before taking off.
“I have to thank the staff at Osasuna for what they did with the pitch but (making us play) was lamentable,” Courtois told Spanish network Movistar.
“They (La Liga) knew for a long time that this was going to happen but they made us take off on a frozen runway.”
The conditions prevented Real from returning to Madrid after the game as usual and they spent the night in Pamplona. They play Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup in Malaga on Thursday.
“We arrived at the stadium with the roads full of snow. We have to prioritise people’s safety,” Courtois said.
“We do what we are asked. We knew that if we didn’t come here we could lose the points but all you need to do is take a look and the roads.
“We also have families and we’re not puppets who have to play all the time.”
Real coach Zinedine Zidane, who usually avoid outbursts during news conferences, also vented his anger.
“The game shouldn’t have been played. What we saw out there was not a football match,” he said.
Earlier, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann each scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Granada 4-0 away to win a third consecutive La Liga game for the first time this season.
Griezmann opened the scoring in the 12th minute while Messi struck twice before the break to make it four goals in his last two matches and go top of the league’s scoring charts with 11 goals.
French forward Griezmann scored a classy second goal after halftime while things got worse for Granada when Jesus Vallejo was sent off in the 78th minute for clattering into Barca substitute Martin Braithwaite.