Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has slammed referee Michael Oliver for ruining his side’s dream of edging Real Madrid to the semi-finals of the Champions League. The English referee had awarded an injury-time penalty to Madrid for a foul by Mehdi Benatia on Lucas Vasquez as well as sending off Buffon, who was making his 650th Juve appearance, for protesting the decision.
“It was certainly a dubious incident. Not clear-cut,” Buffon told Italian TV.
“It was a tenth of a penalty.
“I know the referee saw what he saw, but it was certainly a dubious incident. Not clear-cut. And a dubious incident at the 93rd minute when we had a clear penalty denied in the first leg, you cannot award that at this point.
“The team gave its all, but a human being cannot destroy dreams like that at the end of an extraordinary comeback on a dubious situation.
“Clearly you cannot have a heart in your chest, but a bag of rubbish. On top of that, if you don’t have the character to walk on a pitch like this in a stadium like this, you can sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, having your drink and eating crisps.
“You cannot ruin the dreams of a team. I could’ve told the referee anything at that moment, but he had to understand the degree of the disaster he was creating.
“If you can’t handle the pressure and have the courage to make a decision, then you should just sit in the stands and eat your crisps.”
Real had led 3-0 after the first leg, but saw their advantage wiped out at the Bernabeu through two Mario Mandzukic headers and Blaise Matuidi’s opportunistic strike after Keylor Navas’ error. But with the tie heading to extra time, Oliver adjudged Juve defender Benatia of bringing down Vazquez in the box and pointed to the spot. Cristiano Ronaldo then stepped up to coolly place the 97th-minute penalty into the top corner.