Thursday 13 December 2018

Watch: 'It doesn't matter if it was his last game' - Eamon Dunphy praises Michael Oliver for sending Gianluigi Buffon off

Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini appeal to referee Michael Oliver after he awarded a penalty to Real Madrid REUTERS/Stringer
Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini appeal to referee Michael Oliver after he awarded a penalty to Real Madrid REUTERS/Stringer Newsdesk Newsdesk

Eamon Dunphy praised English referee for 'asserting his authority' in sending off Gianluigi Buffon as the Italian keeper's final game in Europe ended in controversial circumstances after a spectacular night of drama at the Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored an injury-time penalty to book Real Madrid's place in the Champions League semi-finals after losing the second leg 3-1, but winning the tie 4-3 on aggregate.

Juventus had wiped out Real Madrid's three-goal advantage from the first leg with Mario Mandzukic scoring twice before Blaise Matuidi levelled the tie at 3-3 after an hour.

But with the tie heading towards extra-time, Madrid were awarded a penalty following Mehdi Benatia's challenge on Lucas. The defender fortunate not to be dismissed for a second yellow.

Gianluigi Buffon was shown a red card by Michael Oliver for protesting the decision, leaving Ronaldo to score his 41st goal of the season from the spot past substitute keeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Reacting to Buffon's red card on RTE Sport, Liam Brady said: "He's pushing the referee. You can't do that anymore. We saw Guardiola sent to the stands last night for having harsh words with the referee but you cannot touch the referee. He's pointing in his face.

"He was jostling him from all angles. He was pushing him in the back."

Dunphy was in agreement with his fellow panellist.

"I totally agree. The referee in that situation has to assert his authority. It's important for the game because kids are watching this.

"Once you touch a referee or once you do that, it doesn't matter that it was his last game. He's got to go."

Dietmar Hamann said he had no sympathy for the Italians because they should have kept their heads in case the spot-kick was missed.

"They pushed him back from the penalty spot to the edge of the box. They pushed him back five yards. Buffon was leading the charge," he said.

"I have no sympathy for the Juventus situation and their reaction and how they behaved because there is still a chance he misses the penalty and then you could potentially play with one man down. Disappointing end to a fantastic night."

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