Globallookpress Gianluca Checchi
Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said the referee spoiled his team’s game against Real Madrid by sending Remo Froehler early in a 1-0 loss in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday.
The Atlanta coach told Sky Sports Italy: “I do not know what the match would have ended, but it was completely corrupted due to an exaggerated judgment in one incident.
Freueller was sent off after 17 minutes when Ferlan Mendy was deprived of being alone with the goalkeeper, the most early dismissal in the Champions League in more than three years, after which things became difficult for Gasperini’s side.
Atlanta held 4 minutes from the end when Mindy scored with a powerful shot.
Gasperini indicated that the confrontation ended with Freuler’s expulsion.
He continued, “I was punished in the Italian league for a similar conversation and if I said anything now, the European Union (UEFA) will punish me for a month. But what happened is like a football suicide. There can be no referees who have not practiced football and do not know the difference between a mistake and interference.”
He added, “If they cannot tell the difference, they should search for another job in all sincerity. The referees must be those who have played football before.”
Real Madrid struggled to create chances against a stubborn opponent until Mendy scored and Gasperini praised his team’s spirit ahead of the return leg in Madrid on March 16.
Gasperini said: “We defended well and almost came out with a goalless draw, but we could definitely have had an interesting performance if we had played 11 against 11.
He concluded: “We could have lost in the end, I do not complain about the result, but at least we would have played our way..We are satisfied, and we will go to Madrid to play our way.”