Napoli director slams 'shameful' penalty decisions in Coppa defeat

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Spot-kick calls made by Paolo Valeri in Juventus' 3-1 Coppa Italia win on Tuesday have been described as "damaging" by those on the receiving end

Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli has described penalty awards made in favour of Juventus as "shameful and damaging to all of Italian football" after Tuesday's 3-1 Coppa Italia semi-final first-leg defeat.

Jose Callejon had given Napoli the lead in the first half at Juventus Stadium, but immediately after the restart referee Paolo Valeri gave a penalty for a foul on Paulo Dybala by Kalidou Koulibaly.

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Dybala scored the penalty himself and, after Gonzalo Higuain had struck against his old club, extended Juve's lead from the spot again when Pepe Reina was adjudged to have brought down substitute Juan Cuadrado.

But Giuntoli was furious with both of Valeri's decisions, insisting that neither of the penalties should have been awarded to Juventus.

"We thought it important to publicly thank the lads for their performance and to say we emerge defeated by two decisions that were not debatable, but shameful and damaging to all of Italian football," Giuntoli told Rai Sport.

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"On the first penalty, Dybala knocks the ball on and seeks contact for the penalty. I thought the first one was frankly more of a spot-kick, but after watching the replay this one isn't right either. The striker goes looking for the contact."

Giuntoli was particularly upset with the second penalty, which was awarded less than a minute after Raul Albiol went down in the box at the other end, with Valeri unmoved.

Paulo Dybala Juventus Napoli Coppa Italia

"On the second Reina gets the ball, then he certainly cannot disappear and thus he contacts the player too," the Napoli director said. 

"What's more, that happened after a penalty was not given to us, considering that two of them knocked down one of our players.

"The decisions were shameful."

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Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri played down Valeri's impact on the game, insisting his side's second-half improvement meant they deserved victory.

"I don't want to give any verdict on referees. From the pitch they both looked like penalties, then I don't know," Allegri told Rai Sport

"I think the Juventus performance cannot be reduced to just penalties. We must look beyond these things."

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