Real Madrid vs Juventus: Referee Michael Oliver was right to award penalty – Graham Poll


Former Premier League referee, Graham Poll, has insisted that Michael Oliver was correct to award Real Madrid a late penalty, in their 3-1 defeat to Juventus on Wednesday night.

The Serie A champions came into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final 3-0 down and managed to claw their way back to 3-3 on aggregate.

Mario Mandzukic scored twice, while Blaise Matuidi added a third in the second half.

With seconds left at the Santiago Bernabeu, Oliver pointed to the spot, after adjudging that Medhi Benatia fouled Lucas Vazquez. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and smashed in the decisive kick.

“Michael Oliver, only promoted to the elite group of officials in January, justified the decision with some very strong but correct refereeing in the Bernabeu.

“With scores level in a gripping quarter final heading for extra time, Oliver was courageous enough to award a penalty which, once converted, took Real Madrid through to the semi-final.

“He didn’t stop there. Surrounded and disgracefully harassed by half a dozen or so menacing Juventus players, led by their talismanic captain, Oliver – 33 – stayed calm and correctly dismissed Gianluigi Buffon for his aggressive protests.

“Arsene Wenger once told me I was talking rubbish when I said a referee needed courage to give big decisions. I imagine after watching this he will understand.

“What a pity the FA didn’t promote Oliver sooner so he could have been eligible for the World Cup,” Poll told SportsMail after the game.


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