Jude Bellingham appeared to score a valid equaliser but was denied by Ovidiu Hategan in the Champions League quarter-final first leg
Jadon Sancho was among the many observers questioning referee Ovidiu Hategan after Borussia Dortmund appeared to be denied a valid goal against Manchester City.
After Kevin De Bruyne gave City the lead in the Champions League quarter-final first leg, Jude Bellingham appeared to equalise after blocking a clearance by City goalkeeper Ederson.
Bellingham finished into an empty net but the goal was called back after Hategan ruled the England international had fouled Ederson.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Ederson took a poor first touch and got himself into trouble as Bellingham closed him down.
Ederson attempted a quick clearance but Bellingham stole in and robbed the ball in mid-air, leaving him with nothing but an empty net in front of him.
However, as Bellingham was about to put the ball in the net, Hategan whistled for a foul. Because the referee’s call came before the ball went in the goal, there was no possibility of a VAR review.
To add insult to injury, Bellingham was shown a yellow card for what appeared to be a perfectly legal challenge.
There was plenty of reaction on social media including Sancho – who missed the match through injury – getting involved in the criticism.
What was the reaction?
Did Man City get away with one here?
Bellingham scores after colliding with Ederson but the whistle goes for a free-kick before he puts it in ❌
Because it wasn’t a goal, VAR couldn’t get involved 😳 pic.twitter.com/L6qSac6YtR
— Goal (@goal) April 6, 2021
This Ref needs checking! 🤦🏽♂️
— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) April 6, 2021
Appalling decision from Ovidiu Hațegan.. Jude Bellingham got the ball ahead of Ederson & puts the ball into an empty net – can’t be reviewed because by VAR as referee blew for a foul before the ball crossed the line.
— Get German Football News (@GGFN_) April 6, 2021
Really odd decision against Bellingham. Ederson‘s own mistake yet got away with it. Romanian ref having a jittery night. #MCIBVB 1:0.
— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) April 6, 2021
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) April 6, 2021
Referee made up a new law in the game.
— Janusz Michallik (@JanuszMichallik) April 6, 2021
Very, very bizarre refereeing so far from Ovidiu Hategan. #MCIBVB
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) April 6, 2021
Harsh on Bellingham. I get why VAR can’t review it (whistle went before ball went in), but doesn’t feel right. Not great so far from Hategan.
— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) April 6, 2021
VAR happy to spend what feels like half an hour assessing a non existent foul at one end. At the other, they can’t interfere with a clear mistake because the ref blew his whistle as Bellingham rolls into empty net. Garbage officiating all round.
— Adrian Clarke (@adrianjclarke) April 6, 2021
Bellingham booked for scoring a perfectly good goal 😂
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) April 6, 2021
Ovidiu Hategan is the same referee who didn’t follow UEFA protocols to stop Man City’s game at CSKA Moscow in 2013 for a stadium announcement when Yaya Toure reported facing monkey chants. https://t.co/fyWFdZO9kc
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 6, 2021