- Blues awarded spot-kick nobody appealed for
- Late check waved away at the Bernabeu
- Coaches left baffled by input from afar
WHAT HAPPENED? The latest round of elite European action saw Manchester City awarded a debatable penalty in the second leg of their last-16 showdown with RB Leipzig, as Spanish official Hernandez Hernandez advised match referee Slavko Vincic to review an incident involving Benjamin Henricks that saw nobody appeal for a spot-kick. One was eventually awarded, despite the Leipzig star seeing the ball strike his arm when he had his back to the play, while a review of a possible handling by Liverpool defender Kostas Tsimikas – who saw the ball flick up off his thigh and onto his hand during stoppage-time of the Reds’ defeat at Real Madrid – also left onlookers baffled as there had clearly been no infringement.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Blancos boss Ancelotti and Reds manager Klopp were seen watching on in bemusement as a contest that was already over – with the Spaniards leading 6-2 on aggregate – was dragged out in an unnecessary manner by another pointless involvement from VAR. Ancelotti told reporters afterwards of his discussions with Klopp: “We agree that it was not a hand, we have talked about the penalty yesterday that was crazy, really, the penalty against Leipzig... be careful with this because this is not football - taking a penalty like that in a Champions League. I don't think anyone had noticed, not even [Pep] Guardiola had noticed that they called for a penalty.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Erling Haaland converted from the spot for City, as part of his stunning five-goal haul against Leipzig, but a review of Tsimikas’ late handling at Santiago Bernabeu resulted in appeals being waved away following a look at pitch-side monitors.
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WHAT NEXT? Handball rules have sparked lively debate throughout the 2022-23 campaign, with there still plenty of confusion when it comes to individual interpretation of rules that are not as clear as they need to be.