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Villarreal boss Escriba relaxed over refereeing woes in Madrid loss

Villarreal head coach Fran Escriba has moved to draw a line under the refereeing controversies that hindered his side in Sunday's dramatic 3-2 loss to Real Madrid in LaLiga.

Goals early in the second half from Manu Trigueros and Cedric Bakambu had Villarreal on course for a memorable triumph, with Zinedine Zidane's side facing defeat on the road for the second time in the space of five days.

But, after Gareth Bale headed home Dani Carvajal's cross, Bruno Soriano was harshly penalised for handball and Cristiano Ronaldo levelled from the penalty spot in the 74th minute.

Substitute Alvaro Morata completed the turnaround and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique tweeted to claim Madrid benefit unfairly from poor decisions, while Villarreal president Fernando Roig alleged he saw referee Jesus Gil Manzano leaving the stadium holding Real Madrid bags.

Sixth-placed Villarreal travel to face rock-bottom Osasuna on Wednesday and, while the decisions against his players enraged Escriba at the time, seeing him sent to the stands, he said that lingering discussion of them could become an unwelcome distraction.

"I think it's all been exaggerated," he said. "I think we have to look at it objectively because we can't be blowing things out of proportion.

"In every game there are refereeing mistakes but we have to accept that is something that is part and parcel of the game.

"That a coach is sent off for protesting – give a fine and that's the end of it. In a perfect world, all of the fuss would stop when the game is over but I can understand that it is a part of football."

If Manzano was carrying Madrid merchandise, Escriba added he felt the official was guilty of being "clumsy" as opposed to there being anything malicious at play.

"To be completely honest I have no idea whether it is a usual for a referee to leave a stadium with club bags," he said.

"I remember as a player that there would be presents for the team in the dressing room. But I think on this occasion it's being exaggerated.

"I think it would be wise to not look for problems where there aren't any. Although I will also add that every club is free to do what they want.

"Maybe it was a little clumsy – it would have been easy to put them in a rucksack and no one would know any different. But as I say, some people are insinuating that it is connected to the decision taken in the match and that is not the way I see it at all."