Real Madrid are through to the Champions League semifinal for a record 13th time, after Cristiano Ronaldo converted a late penalty in their 3-1 loss to Juventus in the quarter final second leg.
With Los Blancos leading 3-0 from the first leg, Juve took a leaf from their Serie A rivals, AS Roma, to erase that lead within an hour with a stunning performance at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Italians were without their Argentine forward, Paulo Dybala, who was suspended for game. But in Mario Mandzukic, the found a worthy replacement as the ex-Atletico Madrid man scored two excellent first half headers to put the Old Lady 2-0 ahead at half time.
Blaise Matuidi added a third in the second, following a goalkeeping error from Keylor Navas, to put the Serie A giants 3-0 up on the night, and level on aggregate, 3-3.
However, just when they thought they had done enough to drag the game into extra time, English referee, Michael Oliver, awarded the hosts a penalty in controversial circumstances.
Second half substitute, Lucas Vazquez, found a large pocket of space in the Juve box, following a cross from the right wing, and as he was set for the kill, Mehdi Benatia hauled him down.
Left with no other option, Oliver gave Real a penalty, leading to wild protests from Juve players led by goalkeeper, Gigi Buffon, who was eventually sent of by the English official for dissent.
Obviously, no better person than Ronaldo to step up to the plate, with so much pressure, and the Portuguese made no mistakes from the spot to send Real to yet another CL semifinal appearance.
That decision by Oliver caused a lot of reactions on social media, despite replays showing Benatia clearly fouled Vazquez.
Here are some of the best, with some questioning the timing of the call.
It was a penalty ✅
It was a red card ✅
It was harsh but to tackle from behind in the 6 yard area is asking for it.
— Ryan (@jp17_mufcRyan) April 11, 2018
Two things I wanna say,
1. That ref is very very VERY MAD (pls note that, very important).
2. Madrid is not as good as we thought they are. #RMAJUV
— ADEYEMI HENRY (@yugach) April 11, 2018
Uefa was never going to let Madrid go out, No way Micheal Oliver makes that decision in the Premier League, he's clearly been paid off.
— Zane (@WalterTactic) April 11, 2018
Cristiano Ronaldo is great and everything but Michael Oliver is Real Madrid's best signing ever. pic.twitter.com/GxQ0W0axqj
— GeniusFootball (@GeniusFootball) April 11, 2018
The juventus player panicked and prevented a goal scoring opportunity. ….what part of that does ur sense not carry?
— zina (@zina_chicc) April 11, 2018
Red card, nah.
Emotions were high, Michael Oliver should have overlooked that one.
— Yemi (@Babygiwa) April 11, 2018
But according to these accounts, Oliver isn’t ‘mad’, as they believe the Englishman was spot on with his decision.
That English referee got the correct decision… https://t.co/I9VpPkNm3F
— Sabalï (@DBiosky) April 11, 2018
Juve should be angry at themselves for absolutely terrible defending there, they left a gaping hole in the middle of the defence in the lead-up to the stonewall penalty
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) April 11, 2018
Benatia should be getting stick for losing his head not the ref.
— Darius from Atlanta (@HydroStatiQ) April 11, 2018
Juventus were the better team and prolly deserved to qualify but no way that wasn’t a penalty..he was behind and he kicked his chest..he didn’t even touch the ball..
— ? BREZZIDENT (@OlaTheOG) April 11, 2018
Football can be cruel. The romantic story would’ve been a Juve comeback win. However, let’s face reality.
Was it a penalty? Yes. Should Benatia have had a 2nd yellow? Yes. BUT he didn’t.
Do we understand Buffon’s reaction? Yes. Did he deserve a red? Yes.
— Övie (@OvieO) April 11, 2018
And now, back to more protests, led by this guy who thinks the official is lucky he’s not Nigerian.
That referee is lucky he isn't Nigerian or in Nigeria. The beating him for receive ehn, he will tender his resignation tomorrow
— AKWA IBOM's VERY oWn! (@ClintonViceB) April 11, 2018
That was too soft for a PK. UEFA at it again. They obviously needed one Spanish team in the last 4 for ticket sale.
— Arc. Chrislyn (@brauwneyez007) April 11, 2018
Michael Oliver has always been awful, remember that red card he gave Herrera against Chelsea.
— Ismael (@Ade_dapo__) April 11, 2018
— Armchair Sports (@armchairsports_) April 11, 2018
The referee blew a penalty against Juventus, then to make sure it is scored, he red cards their goalkeeper. Talk about getting the job done. Proper English referee.
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) April 11, 2018
Oliver gets more support;
Penalty for the tackle.
Red for the assault on the ref.
Cased closed. https://t.co/cq4WDCwyt8
— ƊaN' God's PLaN (@Dinnydavinci) April 11, 2018
But Madrid are a 90 minute team. Until the last minute don't celebrate
— kenna (@kennagq) April 11, 2018
That penalty is a good argument against VAR. Right decision was made, would have been made with VAR, and yet all those who think it wasn’t a penalty would still insist otherwise.
Doesn’t remove controversy, people would continue to imply anything they don’t like is a fix.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) April 11, 2018
And one last one, nah, not in support of that decision by the ref.
On a serious note, though, no amount of fancy words would deny the fact that it was a questionable decision, I mean the penalty.
— 07 (@waxxa_official) April 11, 2018
But what do you think about that call? Was the referee right or wrong? And why? Get in touch in the comments section, tell us what you think.