Another year, another penalty not whistled by the referee.
Let’s go back two years. On February 14th, 2016 PSG wins 4–0 at home against the mighty Barcelona. Messi, Suarez, and Neymar were all transparent. This was Barcelona’s worst ever Champions League defeat and it could have been even worse. With 16 shots on goal and 10 of those on target, the French domination was flagrant.
Barcelona needed to make Champions League history to advance as no side has progressed after conceding a four-goal first-leg deficit. As you know they pulled that one and called it La Remontada. Loosing 6–1 at this stage, is a professional mistake. PSG’s performance turned out to be a disaster but German referee Deniz Aytekin’s performance was even worst.
80th minute: Barcelona is winning 3–1 but PSG is qualified. Barcelona needs to score three more to go to the next round. If I would have asked you on which team you would put your money, you would have said PSG. Five minutes later PSG counter attacks and Mascherano tackles Di Maria from behind into the box. It is not that hard to see the foul. We are talking about a knockout game in the Champions League with important consequences. Only the best referees are supposed to preside over these games.
After the game, Mascherano even admitted that there should be a penalty.
No penalty is whistled, Barcelona scores 3 goals in 5 minutes and advances to the next round.
An online Petition was created and more than 250K person signed it. The penalty was the most flagrant mistake but the petition goes through all the controversial decisions by the referee:
Now let’s go back one year.
On the February 14th, 2017 PSG loses against Real Madrid 3–1.
44th minute: Giovani Lo Celso takes Kroos down with his left hand.
Even though the German midfielder over exaggerated the foul, there was real contact. However, there shouldn’t be a penalty since Kroos is offside right before as it was mentioned by some Spanish journalists:
On the other side PSG doesn’t get its penalty when Ramos uses his hand in the box:
Again another important game, against another important European team where the nouveau riche club is again slammed by referee’s decision.
Now let’s go back to PSG’ s latest game in the Champions League: Napoli vs PSG (November 6th, 2018). The game is during the qualification phase. It is the most challenging group with Liverpool, Napoli, PSG, and Red Star.
72nd minute: It’s 1–1, Juan Bernat goes through a dribbling adventure and get knocked down by the Neapolitan defender Nikola Maksimovic who catches his supporting feet. Mister Kuipers is close to the action, right behind. He shows hesitation and decides not to whistle.
At this point, you start asking yourself questions. You start getting paranoid about European referees and PSG games.
With Liverpool losing to Red Star Belgrade, the draw in Italy took Napoli top of Group C and leaves PSG third and with work to do to reach the round-of-16. They host Jurgen Klopp’s side on November 28th in a key game. Let’s hope that the referee will be at level.