Champions League ties are often decided by a moment of magic from sensational players, but there are times when an incompetent referee is handed a game too huge for him to handle which inevitably makes him the focus of attention in the aftermath of the game.
Chelsea have previously been on the wrong end of decisions in the Champions League, but they were given a helping hand in their tie against PSG at Stamford Bridge tonight which has raised debate regarding the quality of the officials at UEFA’s disposal, and what exactly is the point of the assistants behind each goal?
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Referees from less intense leagues are ones who worry fans the most and given that this particular official is Dutch, the Champions League and Eredivisie are on completely different levels, leading to concerns from the outset.
Jose Mourinho’s pre-match comments regarding the “physical” nature didn’t help matters and clearly influenced the referee when he made most of his big decisions.
The decision to send off Zlatan Ibrahimovic set the tone of the game and it was a horrendous call, with the Chelsea players swarming Bjorn Kuipers having an obvious affect.
The Swede’s challenge was neither reckless nor high up, in fact it looks as though Oscar’s challenge is more ‘out of control’ than Ibrahimovic’s.
It seemed that this decision was playing on his mind when Diego Costa went through on goal and was blatantly checked by Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, but the referee was obviously aware of the mistake he made moments earlier and was afraid to hand Chelsea another advantage. The official behind the goal, as always, did little to help matters.
The next big talking point of the game was more an issue for UEFA than Kuipers after Costa shoved Marquinhos to the ground and would’ve been in massive trouble seeing as he was already on a yellow.
The incident happened behind the ref and given that none of his assistants saw what took place, video technology would have easily been helpful on this occasion.
Some credit must be given to Kuipers however after he spotted the peculiar handball from PSG skipper Thiago Silva and blew quickly for a Chelsea penalty, this time under little pressure from the league leaders.
The performance of the ref may have been summed up by this Mourinho reaction despite most of the decisions going in his favour.