Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel hit out at the referee who officiated his side’s Champions League exit to Real Madrid for laughing with his opposite number Carlo Ancelotti at full-time.
The Blues put in a brave display at the Santiago Bernabeu, turning the tables on their 3-1 first-leg deficit to move 4-3 ahead on aggregate in a thrilling display, but Rodrygo’s equaliser took the game into extra-time before Karim Benzema’s header sunk Tuchel’s side in extra-time.
The German head coach was furious over a decision made by VAR to rule out another second-half goal for Chelsea before they scored their third of the evening, when Marcos Alonso was adjudged to have handled before smashing the ball past Thibaut Courtois.
Referee Szymon Marciniak ruled the goal out without checking the VAR monitor, with Tuchel claiming that officials do not have the “courage” to give decisions against Real.
But it was the official’s joyful moment with Ancelotti that enraged the German the most at full-time.
“I was disappointed that the referee had a good time with Carlo,” said Tuchel after the game.
“When I wanted to go and say thank you, he was smiling and laughing with the opponent’s coach.
I think this is the very wrong time to do this after the final whistle, 126 minutes of a team giving their heart. When you go and see a referee smiling and laughing with the other coach, it’s bad timing. I told him this.
“[It’s] not only today. When you play against Real Madrid, maybe you don’t expect everyone has the courage. I felt the little decisions in the first leg and today as well.”