HomeFootball NewsArsenal 2-2 Bayern Munich: Tuchel says referee lacked 'courage' to award bizarre...

Arsenal 2-2 Bayern Munich: Tuchel says referee lacked ‘courage’ to award bizarre penalty

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Thomas Tuchel believes referee Glenn Nyberg lacked the necessary “courage” to award Bayern Munich a second penalty in Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League quarter-final draw with Arsenal.

Bayern and Arsenal will go back to the Allianz Arena for next Wednesday’s second leg with nothing to split them after Leandro Trossard came off the bench to salvage a draw for the Gunners.

However, with Bayern leading 2-1 through Serge Gnabry’s close-range finish and Harry Kane’s penalty, the Bundesliga giants were denied a second spot-kick in bizarre circumstances.

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After 67 minutes, Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya took a short goal-kick to Gabriel Magalhaes, who, not realising the ball was in play, picked it up and re-spotted it before taking the goal-kick himself.

Nyberg allowed Arsenal to play on despite appeals from Bayern’s players.

Speaking after the game, Tuchel claimed Nyberg had neglected to punish Gabriel’s peculiar error due to the importance of the game, saying: “The referee did not have the courage today to give us a deserved penalty, in a bit of a crazy and awkward situation.

“I think there was a huge mistake. They put the ball down, he whistles, Raya gives the ball free and the defender takes it in his hand.

“What makes us really angry is the explanation on the pitch. He told our players it was a kid’s mistake, and he will not give a penalty like this in a Champions League quarter-final.

“It is a horrible, horrible explanation. It means he is judging handballs. Whether it’s a kid’s mistake or an adult’s mistake, we feel angry because it’s a huge decision against us.

“But it’s 2-2, it’s totally even, we have the second leg to play and we hope we can create the same atmosphere, play with the same intensity and passion like today in our stadium and push things in our direction.”

Arsenal also felt they should have had a penalty in second-half stoppage time, when Bukayo Saka rounded Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer before going to ground inside the area.

Working as a pundit for TNT Sports at the Emirates Stadium, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown said of the incident: “If you had 10 top refs here tonight, nine of them would’ve given it.

“This referee would be the only one to not give it. I find it quite alarming.”

Many viewers, however, believed Saka had initiated contact with his right leg when he could have stayed on his feet. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta refused to be drawn on the debate after the match.

“I haven’t seen it,” he said when asked about the incident. “The decision is made, we cannot change that.

“We have to focus on other aspects we can control and we could’ve done much better tonight.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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