PSG chief blames poor officiating for PSG’s loss to Madrid

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PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelafi has blamed Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi for his supposedly poor decisions that went against PSG in the course of their 3:1 defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of their round of 16 tie at the Bernabeu.

The opener on the night was scored by France international Adrien Rabiot, although Cristiano Ronaldo responded with a brace before Marcelo added the third to give the Madrid outfit some cushion before the second leg encounter in France.

Whilst speaking with beIN Sports in an interview after the game, Al-Khelafi expressed his dissatisfaction whilst pointing out last year’s loss to Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

“We can also speak about the referee,” Al-Khelaifi said. “Two yellow cards, which were not, and an offside against Kylian [Mbappe] that was also incorrect.

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“The small things, such as these, can also make the difference against big teams like Real. It was not solely because of this but it helped Real, of course.

“Last year, in Barcelona, the referee. Today, again, the referee. I think that UEFA have to do something.
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“I have not spoken with the players. Everybody is disappointed by the result. We were really good in the second half — the players gave everything.”

PSG coach Unai Emery also had a few to say about the performance of Rocchi on the night as he blamed him for the supposed errors he made.

“On the two goals scored by Real in the second half, they had their chances during the match,” said Emery. “However, I do not like the way the referee handled the game. Small things, which can become big things, went for them.

“There was the penalty against us, the penalty that we should have had because of Sergio Ramos’ handball, the yellow cards that we were shown… There also looked like there was a foul on [Presnel] Kimpembe in the build-up to a goal.

“I am happy with the way that we played but unhappy with the result. I believe that the referee was closer to Real than to us.”

The scorer of the only goal for the Ligue 1 outfit, Adrien Rabiot also expressed his own opinion on the outcome of the encounter.

“I am disappointed,” said Rabiot. “We started by producing the sort of performance that we needed to.

“We always say the same things and do the same things, but in the end, we always end up getting floored in the same manner. It is all well and good putting eight goals past Dijon, but it is in matches like this that you have to stand up and be counted.

“It is very frustrating that we let the match slip out of our hands at the end. However, we should not be too negative — a 2-0 win at home clearly is possible.”

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