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‘Robbery’ in Madrid – the BIG decisions broken down from Real v Bayern

‘Robbery’ in Madrid – the BIG decisions broken down from Real v Bayern

19/04/2017 at 16:37Updated 19/04/2017 at 17:36

The officiating in the Champions League was thrust back under the spotlight after Bayern Munich’s exit on Tuesday night, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side left bleating “robbery” after a catalogue of dubious decisions.

But do Bayern have reason to feel aggrieved? It’s time to break down the key incidents and see what the affected parties think…

Casemiro avoids second yellow (80’)

What happened: The Real Madrid defensive midfielder, already on a yellow card, lunged into a challenge on Arjen Robben – clearly scything the Dutchman down. Worryingly, Kassai appeared to reach into his pocket before deciding against dishing out a second card.

Verdict: Probably a yellow, but this is a decision you see in plenty of football matches. If this was the sole incident, Bayern would have little cause for complaint.

Arturo Vidal sent off (84’)

What happened: Vidal was dismissed for a second yellow after being adjudged to catch Marco Asensio with a sliding tackle.

Verdict: If you watch the challenge in slow-motion, the Chilean catches Asensio’s foot just before making contact with the ball. It probably stops the Real Madrid man getting to the ball, but it’s such a faint touch that it can’t possibly be considered a booking in its own right. However, he was already walking a tightrope after earlier fouls, so he was pretty foolish to lunge in.

Arturo Vidal

Arturo VidalGetty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo scores (104’): Real Madrid 2-2 (4-3 on agg)

What happened: Ronaldo expertly controlled Sergio Ramos’ cross inside the penalty area before lashing a low effort beyond Manuel Neuer.

Verdict: Clearly offside. Assistant referees have a tricky job, trying to track players rushing in multiple directions, but the Portuguese forward was stationary on this occasion. A stinker.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores (109’): Real Madrid 3-2 (5-3 on agg)

What happened: Marcelo sauntered through the Bayern defence before feeding Ronaldo for a tap-in to complete his hat-trick.

Verdict: Marginally offside – which is pretty embarrassing for Ronaldo given he had no reason to be ahead of the ball. It’s far tighter than the above incident, but the linesman isn’t helped by his woeful position.


"Arturo’s card was not a card and then two goals for Cristiano were offside," said Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti.

"We are not happy about this. In a quarter-final you have to have a referee with more quality, I think. It’s time to introduce videos for the referees."

Carlo Ancelotti, officials

Carlo Ancelotti, officialsGetty Images


Arturo Vidal

"When they rob a game from you like that, it’s very tough. This error can’t happen in the Champions League. When it was 2-1 they got scared and the referee started putting on his show. We played with one less man at home and here, too. The referee put us out of the Champions League."

Robert Lewandowski

"In the game today I think we could have won and played the next round but the referee made a lot of errors. I think it was impossible to play Real Madrid with 10 men."

Franck Ribery

"1 year of hard work, thanks referee, bravo!"


Yes. While the yellow card incidents are trickier to settle with technology – does Vidal’s faint touch mean he deserved a booking, for example? – video input would have resulted in Ronaldo’s goals being correctly wiped out.

The atrocious officiating across the two legs did help Bayern too, with at least one of their two penalties looking soft. But on the scale of Real Madrid's gifts? There's no comparison. However, reports of Vidal, Lewandowski and Thiago Alcantara storming the referee’s changing room at full-time is unforgivable. Making referees feel threatened is only going to make the standard drop – and it sends out completely the wrong message.