The officiating took over the story in Real Madrid's win over Bayern Munich in the quarterfinal round of the Champions League. Rather than Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick in the 4-2 win on the night, it was how many of Real's goals were offside. Two clearly, changing the complexion of the game.
"We played like men and showed that we’re worthy of playing for FC Bayern," Thomas Muller said. "It was a respectable exit but that doesn’t make it hurt any less."
Look, the fallibility of the officiating is nothing new. It's part of the push for instant replay across the sport. That might not change as much as people would like. In the moment, mistakes happen. If the MLs Disciplinary Committee is any proof, they happen after the fact to. There's no reason to believe in perfection here. Instead, fairness is the goal.
What happened to both teams isn't fair. Real Madrid goes through. Should they win the Champions League this season, people will helpfully point out how they got past Bayern. That's also part of this game.
Moving to CONCACAF, the Champions League final series started with Tigres and Pachuca drawing 1-1 in Leon. Raul Lopez put the away side up in the 3rd minute with Ismael Sosa equalizing in the 32nd. Omar Gonzalez started for Pachuca with Jose Torres on the bench for Tigres. The series concludes on April 26.
Writing for FourFourTwo, Charles Boehm looks at how Seattle uses analytics. The Delaware County Times' Matthew DeGeorge talks to Philadelphia Union sporting director Earnie Stewart about the club's competitive issues. The Dallas Morning News' Jon Arnold explains why FC Dallas is showing patience over the output of Cristian Colman.
ESPN FC's Mark Ogden has the end of Leicester City's Champions League story. AP reports that the North American World Cup bid has Oceania's support.
There's no pro-Spanish conspiracy in UEFA - its more that huge crowds, big names have a psychological influence on refs. Big home advantage.— Simon Evans (@sgevans) April 18, 2017
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