Villarreal v Liverpool Semi Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
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'It's outrageous': Club president fuming after controversial incident involving Tottenham loanee last night

Tottenham loanee Giovani Lo Celso was denied a penalty in the first half of Villarreal’s Champions League semi-final with Liverpool.

Lo Celso was through on goal when Reds goalkeeper Alisson crashed into him but the referee remained unmoved and that proved to be a crucial moment.

The home side were 1-0 up at that point, and did go 2-0 up before half-time, but Liverpool came back to win 3-2 on the night and cruise into the final.

They were helped by a sub-par performance by Gerónimo Rulli in the Villarreal goal, but club president Fernando Roig Negueroles told Marca post-match he was not impressed with the referee.

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Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

“I think it’s an outrageous penalty to Lo Celso, I don’t see any possible other interpretation,” he said of the incident you can watch below.

“The refereeing has been mysterious, it has always been decided in their favour. It does not serve as an excuse, because there they were superior and could win by more, but this referee has no level for a moment like this.

“There have been many small actions that are in their favour. There are three fouls on the edge of the area in the first half.

“Set pieces are very important and we have not been able to have it. The officials were failing and it would have been good for us. I’m not angry, it’s a pride to get here but the refereeing has been very bad.”

Lo Celso should have had a penalty v Liverpool

Villarreal were flying at the time Lo Celso went through and a second goal at that stage would have had Liverpool rocking even more.

It is not an exact science, but that opens up the prospect it could have been 3-0 at half-time, with Liverpool 45 minutes from going out.

That would have meant that Villarreal could have solely focused on defending their lead rather than trying to strike the balance between going for the kill and sitting back.

That said, if Rulli had put in the same second half display anyway, it would have been incredibly hard for Villarreal to progress, even if they got the penalty Lo Celso should have had against Liverpool last night.

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