Wednesday January 3 2018
Lombardo: 'What did referee see?'

Sinisa Mihajlovic refused to speak to the media, so Torino assistant manager Attilio Lombardo hit out at the controversial Juventus goal.

Douglas Costa hit a fierce half-volley into the top corner and Wojciech Szczesny was rarely tested in the 2-0 Coppa Italia Quarter-Final defeat, but the second goal caused a great deal of confusion.

Toro wanted a free kick for Sami Khedira’s challenge on Afriyie Acquah in the build-up to the Mario Mandzukic strike, but the referee awarded the goal even after viewing the incident on VAR.

This utterly infuriated Mihajlovic, who was sent off for dissent, so assistant manager Lombardo spoke to the media afterwards.

“The game was played on an even keel, worthy of Toro. We were a little more timid in the first half, despite the chances to score, while we shook off the tension in the second,” said Lombardo.

“At least, we did until the second goal, which killed off the game. Mihajlovic is not here because he was pretty frustrated both at the dismissal and having to talk about this incident.

“We had our chances, we are struggling to score goals at the moment, we mustn’t despair for this game, but instead focus on the next test.

“There are regrets, because you don’t often find yourself in a one-off match for a place in the Semi-Final.”

Inevitably, the ‘challenge’ on Acquah dominated the analysis of this performance.

“Acquah gets the ball and is then clattered by Khedira. I don’t understand what is evaluated via VAR and I don’t understand how the referee saw the opposite.

“We did lack the strength and pace to complete the counter-attacks, as we often made mistakes in good situations. You cannot get away with that, especially against Juve.”

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