Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Buffon rages as Ronaldo’s late penalty puts Real into semifinals

Buffon rages as Ronaldo’s late penalty puts Real into semifinals

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon argues with the referee during their Champions League quarterfinal second leg with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Wednesday night. AFP
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon argues with the referee during their Champions League quarterfinal second leg with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Wednesday night. AFP

Buffon rages as Ronaldo’s late penalty puts Real into semifinals

Gianluigi Buffon’s Champions League career looks likely to end in a red mist of rage after Cristiano Ronaldo’s late penalty on Wednesday rescued Real Madrid from a pulsating Juventus comeback.

Buffon’s anger earned him a red card from English referee Michael Oliver, moments before Ronaldo slammed a 97th-minute penalty into the top corner to send Real into the semi-finals.

Oliver’s decision was maybe not as poor as Buffon claimed. Mehdi Benatia’s challenge on Lucas Vazquez had been clumsy, from behind and a desperate attempt to stop the Spaniard finishing from five yards.

But Juve had made the impossible possible, having cancelled out a 3-0 deficit from the first leg, to lead by the same scoreline at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Buffon, who has racked up 125 Champions League appearances but never won the competition, could not contain his frustration as Ronaldo’s goal made the aggregate score 4-3.

“This referee has no heart, he has a garbage bag instead of a heart,” Buffon told Italian channel Mediaset Premium after the match.

“If you do not have personality and courage, you should go to the stands to watch the match with your wife and a Sprite.”

Benatia controversially likened the penalty decision to being “raped”.

Amid the swarm of Juventus players surrounding Oliver, and Buffon at the front of them, Ronaldo kept his cool. This was a record-strecthing 11th consecutive Champions League game in which he has scored.

“I do not understand why they protest against the penalty,” Ronaldo told beIN Sports.

“If he did not commit the foul, Lucas would have scored. During the game, Benatia and the rest of them had already been kicking us from behind. But we are happy and we are in the semifinals.”

‘It leaves a bitter taste’

Real coach Zinedine Zidane was more sympathetic towards Buffon.

“He did not deserve that,” Zidane said. “But we cannot change it. It will not take away everything he has done, even if it is a shame to end his Champions League career this way.”

Mario Mandzukic set Juve on their way with a goal after 76 seconds – the fastest Real have ever conceded in this competition – and then scored again before half-time with another header at the back post.

When Keylor Navas fumbled Douglas Costa’s cross on the hour, allowing Blaise Matuidi to stab home, Juve were on the cusp of ensuring there would be no Spanish representative in the last four.

But Oliver blew, Buffon exploded and Ronaldo hit the net.

“It leaves a bitter taste,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.

“Because we have not had the chance to take the game to extra-time. In view of the two legs both teams would have deserved to move on to the next phase.”

Real, meanwhile, edge one step closer to claiming an unprecedented third consecutive Champions League triumph, a fourth in five years.

They join Bayern Munich, who knocked out Sevilla, Liverpool and Roma in Friday’s semifinal draw.

“What I did not expect is in minute one to score a goal,” Zidane said. “By conceding the goal after a minute, you drop your head and give them life. Then they played a good game – they were good and we were bad.”

Gareth Bale perhaps paid the heaviest price. Bale had been handed his first Champions League start since September by Zidane but the Welshman was hauled off at half-time, with his team 2-0 down. Casemiro also made way as Marco Asensio and Vazquez came on.

“Something had to change,” Zidane said. “I was not happy with the approach, it was not to punish Gareth or Casemiro. “

“We have changed a little more the dynamics, with Lucas and Marco giving us a little more energy. We had to do it.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The