The Most Talked-About Matches in UEFA Champions League History
Explore the most contentious moments in UEFA Champions League history, from refereeing decisions to dramatic comebacks. Controversy on the grandest stage of European football.
The UEFA Champions League is one of the most prestigious sporting tournaments in the world, and its matches are always highly anticipated. However, some matches have been more controversial than others, due to refereeing decisions, player behavior, or fan misconduct. Here is a more detailed look at some of the most controversial matches in UEFA Champions League history.
Chelsea vs. Barcelona, 2009 Champions League semi-final
This match is often remembered for the refereeing decisions of Tom Henning Øvrebø, who awarded Barcelona a number of dubious free-kicks and penalties. He also sent off Chelsea’s Didier Drogba for a handball that many people felt was not intentional. As a result of these decisions, Barcelona won the match 1-0 and progressed to the final.
In the aftermath of the match, Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink accused Øvrebø of being “a disaster” and “a disgrace.” He also called for UEFA to review the use of video assistant referees (VARs).
AC Milan vs. Liverpool, 2005 Champions League final
This match is famous for Liverpool’s remarkable comeback from a 3-0 deficit at half-time to win the match on penalties. However, the match was also marred by referee Pierluigi Collina’s decision to award AC Milan a penalty for a handball by Jamie Carragher. Many people felt that the handball was accidental, and that the penalty should not have been awarded.
Collina defended his decision after the match, saying that Carragher’s arm was in an “unnatural position” and that he had “deliberately handled the ball.” However, many people still believe that the decision was wrong.
Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich, 1999 Champions League final
This match is known for Manchester United’s dramatic stoppage-time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær to win the match 2-1. However, the match was also controversial due to referee Pierluigi Collina’s decision to award Manchester United a corner kick in the dying moments of the match, from which Teddy Sheringham scored the equaliser. Many people felt that the corner kick should not have been awarded.
Collina later admitted that he made a mistake in awarding the corner kick. He said that he thought the ball had come off Bayern Munich defender Mario Basler, when in fact it had come off Manchester United defender Ryan Giggs.
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Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid, 2016 Champions League final
This match was drawn 1-1 after extra time, and Real Madrid won the penalty shootout. However, the match was marred by Sergio Ramos’s tackle on Yannick Carrasco, which many people felt should have resulted in a red card. Ramos was only booked for the challenge, and he went on to play a key role in Real Madrid’s victory.
In the aftermath of the match, Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone criticized Ramos for the tackle, saying that he should have been sent off. He also accused Ramos of being a “dirty player.”
Juventus vs. Real Madrid, 2018 Champions League quarter-final
This match was won by Real Madrid 4-3 on aggregate, but the second leg was highly controversial due to referee Michael Oliver’s decision to award Real Madrid a penalty for a handball by Mehdi Benatia. Many people felt that the handball was not intentional, and that the penalty should not have been awarded.
Oliver defended his decision after the match, saying that Benatia’s arm was in an “unnatural position” and that he had “deliberately handled the ball.” However, many people still believe that the decision was wrong.
These are just a few of the most controversial matches in UEFA Champions League history. These matches have been remembered for their refereeing decisions, player behavior, or fan misconduct, and they have all had a significant impact on the competition.
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