Pepe defends controversial penalty decision
Real Madrid defender Pepe believes the decision to award his side an injury-time penalty in their 2-1 win over Elche was correct.
Pepe was embroiled in controversy in the dying seconds of the contest, as he appeared to pull Elche midfielder Carlos Sanchez down after falling over in the area in the 96th minute, only for referee Cesar Muniz to point to award a penalty to Real.
Cristiano Ronaldo duly converted to seal the points for Carlo Ancelotti's men against the hosts, who had levelled in the first minute of injury time through Richmond Boakye after Ronaldo's opener.
Muniz's dubious decision denied Elche a point that would have taken them out of the bottom three, but Pepe feels Sanchez was guilty of committing a foul.
"I grab him (Sanchez), he brings me down. I attempt to take the ball and I can't do it," he said.
"He has his back to the ball and he's not looking for it."
Still, despite the fortuitous victory, Pepe recognised that Real will have to play to a much higher level when they face rivals Atletico Madrid - who have won all six of their La Liga games this season - at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
"It will be difficult. We have to be more involved in the games," the Portugal international added.
"The fans are quiet because it is a new year, we have a new mentality and there are new players.
"We are going to pick up the pace and have a big game."