There have been many occasions where one wrong decision or many wrong decisions could affect the outcome of a match. No matter what sport you are in, there will always be a few officials who makes a mistake or may be biased. Even on a big stage like the UEFA Champions League, incidents might happen to influence a match’s result. Here are some controversial decisions by referees in the Champions League knockout stage.
Ronaldo’s 2nd goal vs Bayern Munich(Real Madrid v Bayern Munich) – With the game equal to aggregate in a tense second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, the heavyweight contest between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich was heading for an intense finish. While Bayern Munich was already a man down having seen dynamic midfielder Arturo Vidal sent off, they were dealt a critical blow with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the equaliser on the night. Replays showed the Portuguese was offside by a significant margin. The decision set Bayern Munich completely off the tracks as they conceded another two goals and were knocked out.
Mascherano foul on Di Maria (Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain) – Barcelona produced what is arguably the greatest comeback in the history of continental football against PSG. They overturned a 4 goal deficit to beat PSG 6-1 and advance to the Quarter finals. All this could have been completely different had a penalty been given to Paris in the 85th minute when the score was 3-1. Angel Di Maria was apparently fouled by fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano and was deemed not a foul by the referee . Though no close replays were showed at the time, the Barcelona defender admitted to fouling the former Real Madrid player in a post-match interview.
Koscielny Red Card vs Bayern Munich (Arsenal v Bayern Munich) – Having been humiliated 5-1 in the first leg at the Allianz Arena, Arsenal led Bayern Munich 1-0 at half time in the second leg. In the early minutes of the second leg, Laurent Koscielny was controversially sent off for a challenge on Robert Lewandowski. While the merits of the decision can be debated, the referee changing his mind from a yellow card to a red card which infuriated the hosts. They could not handle the blow and a capitulation followed leading to another 5-1 scoreline.
Griezmann penalty decision vs Leicester (Atletico v Leceister) – In the first half of a tightly contested first leg at the Vincent Calderon, the home team were awarded a penalty for a foul by Marc Albrighton on Antoine Griezmann. While the foul was legitimate, the Frenchman was clearly brought down outside the given. Griezmann converted the penalty and ensured a vital first leg lead for last year’s runner ups.