Sunday April 29 2018
Debate rages over Inter-Juve ref

Debate continues to rage over the controversial refereeing decisions in Inter 2-3 Juventus, but there is one thing more or less everyone agrees on.

There were two major talking points that arguably decided the match at San Siro on Saturday evening.

The first came when referee Daniele Orsato booked Matias Vecino for a dangerous tackle on Mario Mandzukic, but then viewed it on VAR and opted for a straight red.

According to Sky Sport Italia this evening, it was Orsato himself who asked to view it again – rather than the usual protocol of the officials in the booth advising him he might want to reconsider – when he saw blood on Mandzukic’s sock.

The challenge certainly caused a lot of damage, as the Juventus striker needed 10 stitches to suture the wound just above the ankle, but was it worthy of a straight red card?

Graziano Cesari, former referee and pundit for Mediaset Premium, believes a yellow card would’ve been sufficient.

“It’s a strong tackle, but in my view not violent. Mandzukic came sliding in, Vecino’s foot is not tense, he is not trying to stamp on his opponent. I don’t see anything there that is vicious or unsporting.

“Orsato’s original decision was correct, but he probably let himself be influenced by the footage. You can see the foot was not flexed, unlike Adam Masina’s challenge on Lisandro Lopez.”

Although there are mixed arguments on the Vecino red, it seems more or less everyone – including Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport – can agree Miralem Pjanic should’ve been sent off.

“The first yellow card was absolutely deserved and he should’ve had a second,” continued Cesari.

“It’s putting it lightly to say his challenge on Rafinha was clumsy. VAR cannot intervene here, but Pjanic clearly is making no attempt to play the ball.”

Over on Sky Sport Italia, Paolo Di Canio made his feelings clear.

“Pjanic’s challenge is so obviously a yellow card offence that you can see it even blindfolded. You can’t not give this as a booking just because it’s his first, second or third tackle. You can’t not give it. It’s automatically a yellow.”