Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has taken a dig at Rafael Benitez after the former Liverpool manager singled out his defender for the poor 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid on Sunday (4 October). The Spanish boss came under scrutiny in his homeland after pundits and fans said his conservative approach was to blame for Los Blancos' inability to kill off the game despite their superiority over Diego Simeone's side during the first-half.
Benitez defended himself claiming that what had most annoyed him, apart from not getting all three points, was the foul committed by Ramos on Tiago in the first-half, which led to a penalty –that Keylor Navas saved.
"We all felt that we let two points slip, we had the game under control in the first half and the only mistake was giving away the penalty," Benitez told Cadena Ser. "We talked many times in the week ahead of the game observing how Atletico can pounce on the slightest error. Players are not fools; they know when they're made a mistake."
Ramos has failed to hide his frustration over Benitez's comments and suggests the Real manager also made some mistakes during the game. "It's fine to talk about my mistake, what about the changes," Ramos said, as quoted by AS. "I would like to think that what he [Benitez] needs to say he'll tell me when we next see each other.
"It neither worries nor annoys me. We all make mistakes and no one makes an error on purpose. My mistake had nothing to do with the overall result. It happens to us all, players and coaches. My mistakes over my career have helped me learn. It was a silly blunder and that's all, there is no need to go into it any further. What does wrangle with me is not taking maximum points, which would have seen us on top of the table.
"At 0-1, you feel that you have the game under control and instead of going forward and looking for the second, unconsciously we found ourselves deep and defending the lead, that's what allowed Atletico to equalise. This is what it's all about at Real Madrid. For good or bad, one has to be prepared and if not then it's time to change team or even profession."
Ramos's controversial response came just one day after Benzema questioned Benitez's decision to replace him with midfielder Mateo Kovacic to preserve Real's 1-0 lead – with Luciano Vietto equalising moments later.
"I'm a relaxed person and will keeping work hard so I'm not the player who gets taken off," Benzema said. "I was subbed to make the team more defensive given the result. [My substitution] is a question for the coach, I'm on the pitch to help the team."