Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 20th 2017 Contents sports A45
Thursday, April 20, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Bayern blasts referee after loss to Madrid
Bayern Munich has singled
out Hungarian referee Viktor
Kassai as the decisive factor for
its Champions League quar-
terfinal exit to Real Madrid.
"I have to say, I'm filled with un-
believable rage for the first time
today. Rage, because we were
swindled. Swindled in the truest
sense of the word," Bayern chair-
man Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said
in his post-game dinner speech,
after Tuesday's 4-2 loss in Madrid
saw the Spanish side progress 6-3
Kassai made a number of debat-
able decisions, but Bayern's anger
was focused on his sending off of
Arturo Vidal for a second yellow
card in the 84th minute, even
though the midfielder appeared to
get the ball as he challenged Marco
Asensio, and on the awarding of
two Cristiano Ronaldo goals that
were subsequently shown to be
Rummenigge likened the man-
ner of the defeat in Madrid to that
against Manchester United in the
1999 final after two injury-time
goals, and to the loss against Chel-
sea on penalties in the 2012 final
in its own stadium.
"I think everyone was a witness
to a game that wrote history to-
day," Rummenigge said. "(Bayern
president) Uli Hoeness and I,
we've taken many blows. Today
was also such a game."
Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti
also criticized the referee's per-
formance after the game, while
his players were unanimous in
pinning the blame for the defeat
"When Madrid got scared, the
referee began his show," Vidal said.
"He knocked us out."
Thomas Mueller said he found
it difficult to blame a referee for a
defeat "but today there's no way
Winger Arjen Robben said, "it's
such a shame that such a super
game, such a top game, is decided
by one man with a whistle."
Defender Mats Hummels said
the decisions "hurt," while Jerome
Boateng said, "10 against 14 is
hard to play. They were decisive
Robert Lewandowski was also
incorrectly pulled back for off-
side when Boateng sent a long ball
through for what would have been
a good chance for Bayern.
Spanish media reports say Vidal,
Lewandowski and Thiago Alcan-
tara were so incensed, that they
followed Kassai to his dressing
room to complain after the game,
although that has been denied by
However, no Bayern players
spoke of the decisions that helped
their side on the night. Vidal was
fortunate not to have been shown
his second yellow card earlier, in
the 48th minute, for a challenge
The penalty that was awarded to
Bayern, when Robben went down
under Casemiro's challenge, was
not clear-cut, and two Bayern
players were offside as Madrid
captain Sergio Ramos scored an
own goal in the 78th.
Ancelotti made the case for
video technology immediately
after the game, saying the mis-
takes were unacceptable for the
Champions League quarterfinals.
Bayern's misery was com-
pounded with the news goalkeeper
Manuel Neuer suffered a fracture
to his left foot as Ronaldo scored
his third goal, ruling him out for
the rest of the season.
The 31-year-old Germany goal-
keeper had been instrumental in
denying Madrid a host of chanc-
es over both legs. In Tuesday's
second leg alone, Madrid had 12
attempts on target, compared to
two for the visitors.
"Madrid is not undeservedly
through. You have to say that,"
Hummels acknowledged. AP
No Barca comeback as Juve reaches CL semis
BARCELONA---Juventus put on
a masterclass of defensive foot-
ball to reach the Champions
League semifinals yesterday,
frustrating Lionel Messi and
earning a 0-0 draw against a
Barcelona side hoping for an-
other miraculous comeback.
The second-leg stalemate sealed
a 3-0 win on aggregate and came
six weeks after Barcelona's historic
6-1 thrashing of Paris Saint-Ger-
main, when the home side became
the first team to ever overturn a
4-0 loss in the competition.
The Italians visitors made sure
there would be no more miracles
at Camp Nou by displaying all the
poise and experience that PSG
had sorely lacked in the previous
"We knew Barcelona were ready
to risk everything tonight, but we
closed down all the spaces," Juven-
tus centerback Leonardo Bonucci
said. "Scoring three in the first leg
and not conceding at the Camp
Nou is the evidence that we are
a great team. I think every team
would like to avoid us now."
True to the Italian tradition of
defending an advantage, goal-
keeper Gianluigi Buffon had little
work to do until late in the game,
as Massimiliano Allegri's side ex-
pertly absorbed Barcelona's pass-
ing attack that ultimately produced
few good scoring opportunities.
And when Messi did get free in-
side the area, Barcelona's all-time
leading scorer squandered both his
chances to spark a fightback.
The only miracle seen in Bar-
celona this time was Juventus not
getting a late goal, with the Spanish
side barely having the legs to re-
cover when defending.
Barcelona forward Neymar was
consoled by former teammate Dani
Alves, now playing for Juventus,
after the final whistle while Bar-
celona's fans cheered their team
despite the elimination.
"Juventus is a great team and
they were better than us," Barce-
lona defender Gerard Pique said.
"It was a difficult result to turn
around, although we tried until
the end. They are an Italian club
and defend very well. I wish them
the best and I think they can win
Juventus joins Real Madrid, At-
letico Madrid and Monaco in the
semifinal draw on Friday.
Monaco advanced after beating
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in its quar-
terfinal, second leg yesterday for a
6-3 aggregate win. Teenager Ky-
lian Mbappe and forward Radamel
Falcao struck early to put Monaco
on its way.
Dani Alves committed the only
slip in Juventus' discipline when he
was caught off the pitch at kickoff
saying 'hello' to his former team-
mates in Barcelona's dugout. For-
tunately for the Brazil right back,
the opening move planned by Bar-
celona to send a long ball into his
defensive zone flopped.
Otherwise, the same Juventus
starting 11 from the first leg had
control of the match, bending but
never breaking under the assault
of a Barcelona in full-attack mode.
"On a psychological level, my
team never dropped its guard. The
force of the team is not getting too
worked up, or shaken," Allegri said.
"My players were extraordinary to-
night. They kept their cool."
Messi could have boosted Bar-
celona's hopes in the 19th minute
when a long buildup ended with
Luis Suarez setting him up near
the penalty spot, only for Messi
to fire wide.
Neymar volleyed Jordi Alba's
pass wide before Messi drew the
first save from Buffon just past the
Juventus, however, tightened its
defense, anchored by Bonucci and
Giorgio Chiellini, and the hosts'
opportunities dried up.
Messi's first half had a painful
ending when he was caught by
Miralem Pjanic while jumping
for a ball. Messi tumbled face first
into the turf, and showed a small
scratch that bled on his cheek once
he got back on his feet. Neymar was
then booked for an apparent retal-
iatory charge into Pjanic, earning
him a one-game suspension for
accumulation of yellow cards.
Messi wasted another opportu-
nity in the 67th when Suarez found
him in the box after Buffon left his
line and failed to clear the ball.
Andres Iniesta finally gave Buf-
fon a real challenge with 10 min-
utes remaining, when his glancing
effort off a cross made the veteran
goalkeeper get down low to save.
"Juve is a great team that knows
how to defend perfectly. Even so,
a goal would have changed the
game," Barcelona coach Luis En-
rique said. "We created enough
chances to score, but it wasn't to
Juventus will be without mid-
fielder Sami Khedira for the first
leg of the semifinals after he earned
a yellow for fouling Suarez.
The two-time European cham-
pions are set to complete an ex-
cellent campaign. Having now
avenged their 2015 Champions
League final loss to Barcelona,
Juventus also leads the Italian
league and has lined up an Italian
Cup final against Lazio.
The result ended Barcelona's run
of 15 wins in as many home Euro-
pean matches since the arrival of
Luis Enrique, who will leave the
club this summer.
Barcelona must now rest and
regroup for Sunday's trip to play
Real Madrid in a "clasico" match
that will go a long way to deciding
the Spanish league title. AP
Juventus players celebrate at the end of their Champions League quarterfinal second leg match against Barcelona
at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, yesterday. The game ended in a goalless draw and Juventus advances
after their first leg 3-0 win. AP PHOTO
Bayern's coach Carlo Ancelotti
walks off the pitch after losing their
Champions League quarterfinal
second leg match against Real
Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu
stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday.
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