Petr Cech was diplomatic when it came to Manchester City’s third goal, but his manager was far from that adjective.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was left seething with officials after David Silva appeared to be just offside in a darting run past the Gunners back line.
[ RECAP: Man City 3-1 Arsenal ]
The run led to a Gabriel Jesus goal (video above), who had little work to do with four Arsenal players with their hands raised in protest.
“I was surprised,” Cech said. “David Silva looked far behind everybody but the referee has a better view than me. Referees have a difficult job to do. I don’t know if he got it right or wrong but that goal made the difference.”
Arsenal was trailing 2-1 at the time and strong enough to get a point on the day were it to manage an equalizer. That didn’t materialize. From Sky Sports:
“It was an intense game of quality from both sides,” Wenger said. “Overall once again the referee made the decision today. It was a soft penalty and an offside goal but we are used to it when you come here. Last year we had two offsides goals against us.
“The referees don’t work enough and the level drops every season. Overall it’s unacceptable what happens.”
Someone’s getting fined.
Both decisions were certainly debatable, and the penalty would not have been called in another error. The offside call, like many, depends on when you freeze the screen on the through ball to Silva.
Additionally and editorially, if the quality of refereeing is dipping I’ll blame a long-held theory for it: In this day and age, from the lower levels and up, who in the world really wants to sign up for the constant abuse that comes from trying to do an official’s job correctly?
What’s your take on the decisions, and the officials? Let’s chat in the comments.
MADRID (AP) Spanish third-division club Toledo says a Tunisian player who collapsed from heart failure during practice 10 days ago has regained consciousness.
The club says doctors removed sedative medication and Lassad Nouioui was responding well to treatment on Monday.
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They will consider removing the 32-year-old Nouioui from the intensive care unit if his condition keeps improving. Nouioui has played for a number of clubs during his 14-year professional career, notably a four-year stay at Deportivo La Coruna and a one-year spell with Celtic.
Nouioui collapsed on April 14.
The game against Real Madrid B the following day was postponed because of the problem with Nouioui.
GENEVA (AP) FIFA is forcing the pace on talks over a $25 billion offer to revamp the Club World Cup and create a global national team competition.
FIFA says President Gianni Infantino hosted a meeting last Friday with invited officials from some top European clubs.
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The European Club Association has strongly opposed FIFA’s hope for a four-yearly club tournament starting in 2021, which could rival the UEFA-organized Champions League.
UEFA has also proposed a Global Nations League. A similar project is tied to the FIFA-controlled $25 billion, 12-year offer from a consortium including investors from Saudi Arabia and China.
FIFA says it’s holding “informal ongoing discussions with different stakeholders on the topic of the future Club World Cups.”
Infantino is set to meet confederation presidents and general secretaries “in the near future,” FIFA says.
On many occasions there are instances where teams and individuals exemplify the fact that real-life occurrences are more meaningful than sports.
Ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League meeting, Italian giants AS Roma visited Anfield –where they will face Liverpool in the competition’s semifinals.
After walking around the venue where the two sides will compete in less than 24 hours, Roma captain Daniele de Rossi and the rest of the Roma squad visited the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield to pay tribute to the 96 victims lost in the 1989 event that rocked the entire country.
De Rossi was seen laying a floral arrangement on the site, along with a note from the club that read, “In memoria delle vittime di Hillsborough AS Rome.”
Four clubs remain in this season’s UEFA Champions League competition, and while two of the teams have been considered heavy dogs in the fight all year long the other two sides look to continue on their storybook run.
Liverpool, Roma, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have found themselves in the semifinals of this season’s UCL, creating a strong mix of storylines as the tournament heads towards its most critical point.
[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Theo Walcott’s strike ]
Anfield will be the site for Tuesday’s first leg between Liverpool and Roma, with both sides still riding major highs from their victories in the last round.
The Reds enter the final four after having disposed of fellow Premier League side Manchester City in relatively dominating fashion. Meanwhile, Roma completed a seemingly impossible comeback against Barcelona to progress in the competition.
Liverpool is led by three of the year’s top goalscorers, including Mohamed Salah — who has scored eight goals in the UCL and 41 across all competitions.
For Roma, much of the side’s success has been predicated on finding defensive strength at the right moments throughout the tournament.
Despite falling behind 4-1 in their first leg defeat to Barca in the previous round, Edin Dzeko and Co. rallied for a 3-0 win at the Stade Olimpico to stun the Catalan club by holding Lionel Messi and his side in check.
Manager Eusebio Di Francesco will have to find creative ways to halt the Liverpool attack though over the course of two legs, with the Reds boasting the top attack in this year’s UCL.
Liverpool has scored 33 goals in 10 UCL matches, while only conceding seven in the process.