“Robbery of the century”. “It was a penalty.”
There were a range of opinions splashed across the front pages of the Spanish and Italian newspapers on Thursday after Real Madrid’s dramatic Champions League victory over Juventus.
Real needed a controversial injury-time penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo to secure their progress to the semi-finals. The goal gave Real a 4-3 aggregate win after Juventus had recovered from a 3-0 first-leg defeat to level the tie at the Bernabeu.
While Juventus players raged at the awarding of the penalty, Marca’s front page simply reads “It was a penalty!”, with a picture of Medhi Benatia appearing to push Lucas Vazquez from behind.
“Madrid suffers like never before, but advances like always,” adds the Madrid-based paper.
Another Madrid-based publication, AS, goes with “from panic to the semi-finals” with contrasting views of the penalty from Gianluigi Buffon, who was sent off for his protestations, and Ronaldo.
Having seen the Madrid press revel in Barcelona’s shock exit to Roma on Tuesday, the Barcelona-based newspapers might have thought they could be enjoying some schadenfreude as Real looked to be on the ropes against Juventus.
Instead, Sport leads with the headline “robbery of the century” and says “the referee invented a non-existent penalty for Madrid to advance to the semi-finals”.
Over in Italy, Corriere dello Sport go with the headline “what a robbery!” with a picture of the Juventus players surrounding referee Michael Oliver after the penalty decision.
“A non-existent 93rd-minute penalty denies Juve against Real,” adds the paper.
La Gazzetta dello Sport take a slightly more measured view as they go with “the anger and the pride” in reference to the penalty and Juventus’ overall performance.
However, Gazzetta also say “the referee wasn’t up for the occasion, didn’t know to manage the game well and gave away a dubious penalty”.
Tuttosport reads “Not like that” as they rue the fact that an “immense Juventus” were eliminated from the competition.