On Wednesday 12th April, Napoli failed to score in their first Champions League quarter-final match against AC Milan, losing 0:1 after Ismaël Bennacer’s goal. Although the result is still open until the return leg, the visitors’ coach Luciano Spalletti was furious after the match. And he had a particularly strong reaction to the referee.
The Partenopei entered the match with AC Milan very actively and could have celebrated the leading goal in the first minute. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia sent the ball towards goal from inside the penalty area, but the goal was prevented by Mike Maignan and Davide Calabria together on the goal line.
Napoli created a total of 15 shots during the match, three more than the home side. However, they failed to score from any of their chances.
The home side managed to do so in the 40th minute. Brahim Díaz did a great job in the centre of midfield, then passed to a free Leão, who sent the ball to Bennacero, who made no mistake from close range.
It was a fairly even match, although it could be said that Napoli had most of the play. In any case, the latter went down to ten in the 74th minute when Andre Zambo Anguissa was sent off after a foul on Theo Hernández.
The team from the city under Vesuvius will also miss the out-of-sorts Min-Jae Kim in the rematch. Napoli received a total of six yellow cards from referee István Kovács in the match against AC. And it was coach Spalletti who commented on the referee’s work.
I won’t comment on the referee, everything is clear!
“I’ll say it like this. Anguissa hit a large part of the ball in the tackle,” Spalletti does not understand the award of the second yellow card, and therefore the red card. “Or if we look at Zielinski’s card and the one not given to Krunic,” he gives another example of the head referee’s poor work in an interview with Sky Sport Italia.
Notably, in the first half, Rafael Leão couldn’t take the frustration, having to cancel out a corner flag in anger, which subsequently had to be replaced. However, he did not see a yellow card from Romanian referee Kovács.
“Speaking of which, what can you tell me about the situation with the corner flag. What does it say to the kids at the TV, to whom the match is also broadcast. That if you have a tantrum, you can smash the corner flag if you don’t get it right? I won’t comment on the referee’s decision, it’s all clear. You can go and see for yourself,” Spalletti raged after the game.
The Napoli coach then commented on the absence of players in the Champions League quarter-final return leg.
“Every absence at this stage of the season is detrimental, but we have players who can fill in for them. That’s why we are where we are. We are sorry to lose Anguissa because we feel it is unfair, but there is nothing we can do,” he concluded.
Sky Sport Italia, UEFA Champions League
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