AC Milan sporting director Leonardo has fumed at the club’s elimination from the group stages of the Europa League, citing poor decisions made by the referee in the 3:1 defeat away to Olympiacos.
The Serie A outfit were 3 points ahead of their Greek counterparts before the game but were sent packing after the defeat.
Olympiacos raced into a 2 goal lead through an opener from Pape Abou Cisse and an own goal from Cristian Zapata. However, the Colombian defender pulled one back for Gennaro Gattuso’s men in the 72nd minute.
Eight minutes from time, the referee on the night, Benoit Bastien awarded a penalty to the Greek side after he deemed that Ignazio Abate fouled Vasilis Torisidis. The ensuing penalty was put away by Kostas Fortounis.
Leonardo criticised the referee’s decision and also expressed his disapproval of the VAR not being used in the competition. It will be in use in next season’s Europa League.
In a chat with Sky Sport Italia, Leonardo said: “It looks to me as if the penalty was non-existent”
“On a couple of occasions too, they had this system of putting a hand on a corner as if to wait for someone else and then taking it. [Samuel] Castillejo tried it and the referee whistled to stop us.
“If you go out of the Europa League for something like that, in the days of VAR, it becomes difficult to just accept a result. It’s ridiculous that a system like VAR that everyone now uses cannot be used in a European tournament.
“There was also a strange noise every time we went to attack. I don’t know what it was, but it’s not fair to use a sound like that to distract us every time we go forward.
“It was genuinely irritating. The referee should’ve stopped play and told them to stop it. After they scored, it actually got louder.
“We were three points ahead of Olympiacos, it was a difficult situation for them to win and it was in fact totally decided by these incidents.
“We know our problems and we have some players out, but I can say this was unjust.”