Bayern’s De Ligt slams offside call as ‘disgrace’ in UCL exit

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel said the linesman apologised to him for a late offside call in Bayern’s Champions League semifinal exit at the hands of Real Madrid on Wednesday, while Matthijs de Ligt described the call as a “disgrace.”

De Ligt thought he had equalised in stoppage time when the ball fell to him in the Madrid box and he struck home, but referee Szymon Marciniak had already stopped play for offside. The match ended in a dramatic 2-1 victory to Madrid minutes later that saw them advance to the final 4-3 on aggregate.

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Speaking to TNT Sport, Tuchel said: “It was a disastrous decision from the linesman and the referee. It feels almost like a betrayal in the end because of that decision. It was a huge fight, we left everything on the pitch. We were almost there. Now we have to say congratulations to Real Madrid.

“The linesman said sorry … The referee does not have to flag — he sees that we win the second ball, he sees that we get a shot away,” he added. “To whistle is a very, very bad decision. It’s against the rules, and it’s a bad decision from both of them. It’s a disaster, tough to swallow, but it is the way it is.”

After the match, De Ligt said Bayern were not afforded the same opportunity by the official as Madrid, pointing to Joselu‘s winner, which was flagged for offside after he had scored and was later awarded by the video assistant referee (VAR).

“I think we all know the rules. If the offside call is not clear, you have to play on! This is the rule! I find it a little bit of a disgrace. The goal of Joselu was also almost offside and they keep on playing, so why not with us?” De Ligt said.

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti rejected Bayern’s complaints saying his players stopped after Marciniak, who officiated the 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France, blew the whistle and he compared the play with an earlier Nacho Fernandez disallowed goal due to a push on Joshua Kimmich.

“The move is quite clear, the linesman raised his flag, the referee blew his whistle and we stopped,” Ancelotti said. “If they complain about that, we can complain about Nacho’s disallowed goal, because Kimmich dived, the two of them were pushing each other.”

Madrid’s victory set up a final against Borussia Dortmund on June 1 in Wembley, where the LaLiga side will go for a record-extending 15th Champions League trophy.