The performance of Björn Kuipers in the Champions League return between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain (2-0) stirs up a lot. How did the Dutch actually whistle? Starring Ángel Di María, Fernandinho, Ander Herrera, Marco Verratti, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Mauricio Pochettino.
These are trophy days for the top of the Dutch refereeing guild. Last week, Danny Makkelie stood under the massive pressure of the Spanish press during Real Madrid – Chelsea, after which it was Kuipers’ turn on Tuesday evening: the referee from Oldenzaal was allowed to play the top poster between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-final of lead the Champions League.
It became a hot night for Kuipers at the Etihad Stadium, where tempers were running high. The damage: six yellow cards, one red card. Afterwards, PSG midfielders Marco Verratti and Ander Herrera denounced Kuipers’ language during the match, trainer Mauricio Pochettino and technical director Leonardo argued for an investigation and mastodons such as Arsène Wenger and Fabio Capello had the necessary comments and comments. How did the evening actually go? FootballPrimeur draws up report.
1′: The tone has been set: City flies on it and has already committed three offenses within eighty seconds. Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho will not be penalized by Kuipers.
6′: The match is six minutes old when Kuipers – after doubting – whistles for a penalty. Oleksandr Zinchenko seems to be making hands. Kuipers is immediately called to the side by video referee Pol van Boekel. When looking back at the images at the edge of the field, it quickly becomes clear to him that the ball hit the top of Zinchenko’s shoulder and that there is no question of a penalty. “Fuck off, fuck off!” Zinchenko shouts to the side. Those words would come back later in the game.
— HDFV (@HDFV47824204) May 4, 2021
20′: The first meeting between Kuipers and Neymar. The Brazilian tries to make something clear in the injury treatment of Presnel Kimpembe and the Dutchman listens carefully. The two have a history: during Brazil – Costa Rica at the World Cup in 2018, Neymar and Kuipers had a fight with each other throughout the game and a few months later an angry Neymar said after the Champions League match between Napoli and PSG that Kuipers’ said something to me that he shouldn’t have said at all, it was really disrespectful ‘. That was not the end of the matter: in February of this year, Neymar was certainly not pleased with the performance of Kuipers during PSG – FC Barcelona.
22′: The first disturbance is a fact. Kuipers whistles for a light foul by Herrera on Bernardo Silva, after which Ilkay Gündogan interferes and the Basque midfielder of PSG almost jumps out of his skin. Herrera gets yellow and an explanation from Kuipers and – just like Verratti – doesn’t understand anything at all. The atmosphere has been raised.
40′: It is a small miracle that only one yellow card has been given. City and especially Fernandinho make many minor offenses. An irritated Neymar says something about it, but Kuipers lets the fire go out quietly.
69′: After Riyad Mahrez’s 2-0, the PSG stars are no longer in control of their frustrations. Fernandinho lures Di María out of the tent on the sidelines, the Argentinian stands on the Brazilian’s foot and Kuipers can do nothing but draw red immediately. The friendly contact with a smiling Neymar is striking – not for the first time this match.
— Veronica Inside (@veronicainside) May 4, 2021
71′: The match is now really starting to derail. Verratti makes a clear violation of Foden and rages towards Kuipers. Yellow card. The Italian midfielder then tries to make a kick out of it, but Kuipers is allowed to stand.
73′: Kuipers scatters cards to keep the players in line. De Bruyne gets yellow and Zinchenko’s name also disappears in his booklet. City’s Ukrainian left back is out of control when Leandro Paredes taps the ball against the head of the reclining Foden.
— Morris (@KDBseasonV2) May 4, 2021
78′: Neymar gets a pounding from Fernandinho, but Kuipers does not whistle. The Brazilian cannot believe it, out of frustration almost knocks two City players over and immediately confronts Kuipers, but is ignored. If looks could kill…
87 ‘in 89’: In the final phase, the PSG players lose their heads for good. Kimpembe is spared by Kuipers after an idiotic sliding and substitute Danilo Pereira is also out of control, but comes off with yellow.
— Veronica Inside (@veronicainside) May 5, 2021
The aftermath: the elimination of PSG is a fact and Verratti and Herrera point the finger of blame at Kuipers. The referee is said to have said ‘fuck off’ and ‘fuck you’ to them during the match. “He said ‘fuck off’ to Paredes,” Herrera complained to RMC. “We always talk about respect. But if we say something like that in the field, we will be suspended for three or four games.”
Verratti also mentions a swearing match by Kuipers afterwards. “He said ‘fuck you’ to me twice,” said the Italian. “When I say that, I will be on the sidelines for ten games. Of course I also talk a lot with the referee in the field, but you will never hear me say that.”
PSG coach Pochettino had not heard himself, but came after the statements of his players to get a story from Kuipers. According to him, the European Football Association cannot just hide the incident. “If this is true, UEFA may have to investigate,” said the coach. “I believe what my players have told me.”
— Veronica Inside (@veronicainside) May 4, 2021
Afterwards, technical director Leonardo also reacted with surprise at RMC, that the images did not provide any evidence for Kuipers’ statements. “It’s so obvious that I don’t even want to comment on it. It’s a shame. I don’t want to justify our elimination with the arbitral performance, but a lot of situations were not handled properly.”
Wenger believes that Kuipers should also have punished Fernandinho with Di María’s red card. “He provoked. If you send Di María off the field, you must also send Fernandinho away. He should have been yellow before he provoked Di María.” And Capello is again critical of the red card for Di María. “That’s the only thing I didn’t like. The red card was exaggerated. It was not dangerous and therefore heavily punished. The referee should have given them both a yellow card.”
“I don’t like how Fernandinho behaved tonight!”
Watch Now – https://t.co/RRmQgctETJ pic.twitter.com/3IFf6rWyYD
French media are not saying much about Kuipers’ performance, although France Football does give him a 3. Only PSG players Alessandro Florenzi, Abdou Diallo, Mauro Icardi and Neymar are even worse off with a 2.
Conclusion: Kuipers, along with Makkelie and Italian referee Daniele Orsato, seemed to be the favorite to lead the Champions League final between Manchester City and Real Madrid or Chelsea, but after the scandal evening in England, Istanbul is very, very far away. It was not even due to his performance: Kuipers was indeed saved by Van Boekel, but whistled strongly and did logical things. However, UEFA will not take PSG’s allegations lightly. Incidentally, Kuipers has sometimes faced hotter fires (note the linesman at 3:12).
(Ruben Shops / Soccer Primeur)
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