Villarreal president scathing after decision not to award penalty after Alisson-Lo Celso clash

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Villarreal club president Fernando Roig has labelled referee Danny Makkelie’s decision not to award a penalty to the hosts in their Champions League defeat to Liverpool as “scandalous”.

The LaLiga side were bundled out of the competition despite leading 2-0 at half-time. Two-nil down from the first leg at Anfield, goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin had the Reds in a panic. But a crucial half-time team talk from Jurgen Klopp jolted Liverpool into life. And goals from Fabinho, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane in a 12-minute spell in the second half turned the second leg around.

It meant Liverpool escaped from the Estadio de la Ceramica with an unlikely win and a 5-2 aggregate success.

However, Roig was left fuming by the Dutch officials refusal to award the hosts a penalty early in the game.

Makkelie did not even check VAR, after Reds keeper Alisson collided with former Spurs star Giovani Lo Celso.

Lo Celso appeared to get to the ball ahead of the Brazilian before the pair made contact. But the visitors will argue that Lo Celso looked to be going to ground before any contact between the pair.

That may well have swayed the referee’s judgement and a review of the incident would not have cleared it up conclusively such was the nature of the clash.

Referee ‘not at right level’

Roig though was furious after afterwards told Mundo Deportivo: “It was scandalous. He (Alisson) takes Lo Celso out, it’s a key move by the referee, who has been sneaky because from minute one he has always opted in their favour.

“I don’t want it as an excuse, because Liverpool are a great team, and we could have lost the first leg by more than 2-0.

“But today, the referee is not at the right level for this type of match. His performance has had an impact on the result.”

Villarreal, last season’s Europa League champions, were trying to reach their first ever Champions League final.

But boss Unai Emery was not surprised they fell short in the second half.

“We made a huge effort in the first half. And we knew that could be heavy on our legs in the second half,” said Emery.

“We were not quite the same team in the second half. And we couldn’t find the right amount of strength. We lacked something extra.”

READ MORE: Mohamed Salah easily names preferred Liverpool CL final opponents and reveals big 40-goal target

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