Real Madrid left-back Marcelo admitted he was fortunate not to concede a penalty during their 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu, a let-off that helped the holders reach the Champions League final 4-3 on aggregate on Tuesday.
The Brazilian defender blocked a shot from Joshua Kimmich in the penalty area at the end of the first half with the score at 1-1 but Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir gave a corner.
Kimmich had given Bayern the lead but Karim Benzema soon cancelled the goal out and the Frenchman put Madrid 2-1 up just after the break following a clanger from keeper Sven Ulreich.
The goal meant Bayern had to score two more goals to knock Real out and they only managed one, from James Rodriguez.
“It’s a handball, it hit me on the hand and I think it’s a penalty,” Marcelo told reporters. “If I say it didn’t hit me I’d be lying, but football is like that.
“I don’t talk about referees, but it’s clear that sometimes they go in your favour and other times against you, but whatever happens, you have to play football.”
— Neal Collins (@nealcol) 2 May 2018
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes was not asked about the incident in the post-game news conference and nor was Real manager Zinedine Zidane, though Bayern’s injured defender Jerome Boateng expressed his disbelief at the decision on social media.
The Bundesliga champions also had a penalty appeal waved away when their Polish striker Robert Lewandowski went down under a challenge from Real captain Sergio Ramos.
As well as cashing in on Ulreich’s error, Real benefitted from some wayward shooting from Bayern and a handful of outstanding saves by their goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Bayern had also been wasteful in the 2-1 first-leg defeat by Real in the first leg at the Allianz Arena.
“We are very disappointed because we made an outstanding game,” said Bayern coach Heynckes.
“I told the boys just now that I have not seen Bayern play like tonight in the past few years. But at this high level you cannot make the mistakes we made in the first game and tonight after the break.
“Then you don’t have to wonder why you are leaving the pitch as the defeated team. When you score twice against Real at the Bernabeu it means something. But Navas was outstanding.”
Bayern last won the Champions League in 2013 under Heynckes but they have fallen at the semi-final stage in four of the last five seasons, losing to Spanish opposition every time.
“We played better than in Munich. Then we gifted a goal and in the end you cannot let that happen twice in a semi-final like this,” said Bayern forward Thomas Mueller.
“It was a fantastic game, we invested everything in our performance but we did not do everything right, we lacked a bit of luck, especially in the box. Obviously we have to ask what we are doing wrong in these semi-finals.”