Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said the referee spoiled his team’s match against Real Madrid by dismissing Remo Froehler early in a 0-1 loss in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16.
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.Atalanta held up four minutes from the end when Mindy scored with a powerful shot.
Gasperini indicated that the confrontation ended with Freuler’s expulsion.
Atalanta’s coach told Sky Sports Italy: “I don’t know what the match would have turned out to be, but it was completely corrupted by an exaggerated ruling in one incident. 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. It is like football suicide, there can be no referees who have not played football and do not know the difference between a mistake and an intervention. ”
He added, “If they cannot tell the difference, they must search for another job in all sincerity. Referees must be those who 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 16 March.
Gasperini said: “We defended well and almost came out with a goalless draw, but we definitely could have had an enjoyable performance if we had played 11 against 11. We would have lost in the end. I don’t complain about the result but at least we would have played our way.”
He continued: “We are satisfied, and we will go to Madrid to play our way.”