Journalism in the service of society

Chelsea’s Tuchel blasts referee for ‘smiling and laughing’ with Real’s Ancelotti

THOMAS Tuchel has criticised the referee for “smiling and laughing” with Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti after Chelsea’s Champions League exit.

Tuchel said he was disappointed Szymon Marciniak appeared to be having “a good time with Carlo” at the final whistle.

Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, the Blues forced extra time against the record 13-time winners at the Bernabeu before losing 5-4 on aggregate.

“I think this is the very, very worst time to do this,” said Tuchel.

“After 126 minutes with one team giving their heart and desire, fighting to the very last drop.

“I know Carlo is a gentleman and a nice guy but when I wanted to go and say thank you [to the referee] I see him smiling and laughing loudly with the opponent coach.

“I think it’s very, very bad timing.”

Tuchel was also unhappy the official did not check the VAR monitor himself when a Marcos Alonso effort was disallowed for handball in the second half.

“If you play against Real Madrid you can maybe not expect everybody has the courage. I felt little decisions went against us also in the first leg and today as well,” he said.

“I did not see the goal but I told him I’m super disappointed he didn’t go to check it himself. You should stay the boss and not give decisions like this to somebody in a chair and isolated from the atmosphere.

“A referee has a certain style, things he allows and doesn’t allow, so I think he should stay in charge and check it on his own, then he could explain it better.

“But this is just my opinion. Maybe it’s too much to ask for in matches like this against this opponent.”

Tuchel said there were “no regrets” despite Chelsea’s elimination after coming close to what would have been a stunning comeback.

Many had written off Chelsea’s chances, but when Timo Werner scored to make it 3-0 on the night in the 75th minute, the Blues were 15 minutes away from a sensational feat.

However, Rodrygo’s volley brought the scores back level on aggregate five minutes later before Karim Benzema – a hat-trick hero at Stamford Bridge six days earlier – headed the decisive goal which sent Real through.

“These are the kind of defeats we can digest and swallow as we left nothing to regret out there,” said Tuchel.

“It was not meant to be. We were simply unlucky.”

“We showed the quality and character this team has and deserved to go through. There is nothing to regret.”

However, the Chelsea boss was critical of the mistakes over two legs which led to Real’s goals.

Benzema’s extra-time goal came after Antonio Rudiger slipped in the box.

“We had a huge deficit to overcome because we did big mistakes in the first leg and today both goals come from mistakes from us,” added Tuchel.

“They took advantage of the mistakes with individual quality and that was enough because over the two legs we did too many of these big mistakes.”

BBC Sport

Comments are closed.

Naija Times