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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

No penalty by Piqué on McTominay, nor a foul by Smalling on Messi, says resident ref

No penalty by Piqué on McTominay, nor a foul by Smalling on Messi, says resident ref

PETER POWELL

EFE

Iturralde González analized the two problematic incidents during the first half with Carrusel. He described Smalling's barge as "a normal challenge in football".

Former professional referee Iturralde González gave his views on the two controversial incidents in tonight's Champions League quarter final first leg at Old Trafford to Carrusel programme. Events at either end had fans from Manchester United and Barcelona in arms on social media: first, there was a possible penalty when Gerard Piqué extended a leg as Scott McTominay fought for a loose ball in the area and then Chris Smalling went in enthusiastically whilst challenging for the ball with Leo Messi. For the man refereeing tonight's match, Gianluca Rocchi, there was nothing untoward or which infringed the rules in either incident - and Iturralde González says the Italian match official got both decisions spot on. Regarding United's penalty appeal, Iturralde González said "I didn't see anything" in Piqué's tackle on McTominay.

Things that happen all the time in football

As for Smalling's shoulder charge on Messi, Iturralde González pointed out that such incidenrs happen all of the time in football. "He made contact with his body but not intentionally but then he followed through and caught him with his elbow. He took him out, but while both of them were disputing the ball", Iturralde explained. "I think it's more involuntary than deliberate. Having said that, his hand did clip Messi on the nose".