Atalanta President Antonio Percassi is ‘shocked’ by an ‘embarrassing’ red card shown to Remo Freuler and insists Real Madrid were ‘favoured by the referee.’
The German midfielder was shown a straight red card after 18 minutes in the first leg of the last 16 stage of the Champions League.
“It was shocking, that red card gave me goosebumps,” Atalanta President Antonio Percassi told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I thought the referee picked the wrong card.
“After just 15 minutes of such an important game, with the whole world watching. I could only look around me: all bewildered, almost embarrassed. It was embarrassing, a grave injustice, unacceptable for Italian football.”
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin was in the stands.
“He is a smart person and an extremely professional manager. It is easy to imagine what he might have thought,” Percassi said.
"I had the feeling that the most important team was overwhelmingly favoured, on paper and for history," the President continued.
“Besides, ‘impression’ is wrong. The term impression is correct if there is only one dubious episode, I had to write them down so as not to risk forgetting any.
“There was a Nacho foul on Maehle and one of Modric on Pessina. They should have been booked. No yellow card for a Lucas Vazquez handball and Casemiro should have received a second yellow card for diving.
“The referee remembered he had already picked up one and put his hand back in his pocket, telling him I don’t know what.
“One of ours would have seen red, one hundred per cent. Rightly, I add.
“There is psycolgical subjection, it’s unacceptable to witness such mistakes. Everything was against Atalanta, always. Either you are inadequate, unprepared for a Champions League match, or you have subjection.
“I could only thank the guys in the dressing room, one by one. What could I say to them? They were shocked.”
Can Atalanta still qualify for the next stage?
“It will be a complicated game, we can only win, but it’s fair to let Gasperini talk about this. I hope it will be a correct game, under any aspect. The best side will win.”