UCL

Angry Villarreal director blasts UCL ref for 'evil' decisions vs Liverpool

Villarreal boss has berated the referee who officiated the dramatic UCL semi-final against English side Liverpool.

Lo Celso thought he won a penalty for Villarreal

Villarreal General Director Fernando Poig Negueroles is not a happy man after his club Villarreal crashed out of the 2021/2022 Champions League season.

The Yellow Submarine lost 3-2 to Liverpool in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final clash at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Tuesday night.

Nigeria's Samuel Chukwueze was a second-half substitute once again as goals from Fabinho, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane saw the Reds come from two goals down to see off the host 5-2 on aggregate.

An incredible first-half from the home side saw them looking comfortable at the break courtesy of goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin.

However, the Submarines thought they had a chance to extend that lead to 3-0 from the spot when Giovanni Le Celso appeared to have been hacked down in the box by Liverpool goalkeeper, Alisson Becker.

The Dutch referee, Danny Makkelie, ignored their appeal and waved play on, a decision Villarreal President has termed 'scandalous' and 'evil'.

"It seems to me a scandalous penalty for Lo Celso, I don't see any possible interpretation," Negueroles said, according to the Spanish outlet, Marca.

"The decision has been mysterious, it has always been in his favor. It doesn't serve as an excuse because they were superior and could win more. But this decision does not have the level for a time like this. There have been a lot of small actions that have gone in their favour."

He added;

"There were three fouls on the edge of the box in the first half, the set-piece is very important and we couldn't have it. Our forces were failing and it would have been good for us. I'm not hurt, it's a [thing of] pride to get here, but the officiating has been very evil."

While Negueroles and Villarreal continue to rue what might have been, the English side, Liverpool, has booked their ticket to the Champions League final slated for later this month in Paris, France.

For 45 minutes, the Reds looked in danger of missing out after Villarreal cancelled their 2-0 aggregate lead from the first leg following excellent performance and goals from Dia and Coquelin.

However, whatever Jurgen Klopp told his boys at halftime proved to be a tonic as they completely turned things around thanks to three outstanding goals from Fabinho, Diaz and Senegal's Mane, who became the top-scoring African player in the knockout stages of the Champions League on the night.

Liverpool survived the early storm and scare to book their place in the Champions League final, for the third time in the last five seasons, with a 5-2 aggregate win.

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