Quick links



Serie A

Roma blame ref for Juventus defeat: Not one goal was legitimate

Juventus drew first blood in the Serie A title race with a dramatic 3-2 win over Roma, but there was controversy surrounding all three of their goals.

Reigning champions Juventus saw off Roma 3-2 in a fantastic top-of-the-table clash, but the losing side were less than happy with the way the referee performed.

The Turin encounter had everything: five goals, two red cards and three penalties but it wasn't referee Gianluca Rocchi's finest hour.

Juventus were awarded a penalty when Andrea Pirlo's free-kick was charged down on the edge of the box by Maicon. Rocchi has initially awarded a free-kick but after consulting his assistants he decided it was a spot kick. Roma coach Rudi Garcia was sent off for sarcastic applause and Carlos Tevez converted the kick. Video replays suggested the handball was outside the box.

Roma had a penalty of their own when Francesco Totti was manhandled by Stephan Lichtsteiner and made it 1-1. Juan Iturbe put Roma ahead briefly but Miralem Pjanic tripped Paul Pogba and a third penalty was awarded to allow Tevez to score again. Again there was debate over whether the foul happened inside or outside the box.

The decisive goal came from a sensational volley from Leonardo Bonucci but three men were in an offside position, all adjudged not to be interfering with play.

Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini was fuming after the final whistle.

"It is a matter of science that the two penalties shouldn't have been given and the third goal should have been disallowed because the goalkeeper couldn't see the ball," Sabatini told Sky Italia.

"We recognise Juventus's abilities and that the referee had a bad day, but none of their three goals should have counted.

"I can't solve the problems with football and as a club we accept this result and congratulate Juventus on their win but these episodes were very clear this evening."

A poll in La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed that 52 percent of readers believed Roma had been penalised by the referee, 35 percent believed Juventus deserved to win but 11 percent of those voters admitted the referee influenced the game heavily.

Roma captain Francesco Totti was also livid after the final whistle and stated that: "I don't know if we were beaten by the referee, but we certainly weren't beaten by Juventus".

Tempers flared not only on the field where Alvaro Morata and Kostas Manolas were sent off plus six picked up bookings, but also in the stands where there were tense scenes between rival fans.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch