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Page last updated at 22:53 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 23:53 UK

Penalty decisions mystify Hiddink

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Hiddink unhappy with penalty decisions

Coach Guus Hiddink could not understand why Chelsea were not awarded three penalties in the Champions League semi-final, second leg against Barcelona.

The Blues went out on away goals after a late Barca strike but had several spot-kick appeals dismissed by referee Tom Henning Ovrebo in the 1-1 draw.

"There were three clear penalties and the boys feel that this is an injustice," said Hiddink.

"Two of them, the Barcelona players, went up with their hands in the air."

Chelsea were first denied when Ovrebo adjudged Daniel Alves had brought down Florent Malouda outside the area, when it appeared the foul took place in the box.

The ball touched my arm, but the referee decided it wasn't a penalty

Barcelona's Gerard Pique

Didier Drogba then went down under a challenge from Eric Abidal, while in the second half the ball seemed to strike the arms of both Gerard Pique and Samuel Eto'o in separate incidents.

Hiddink added: "The ref had a perfect view of the Malouda one, he was grabbed inside the box and that has to be a clear penalty.

"The Drogba one I think is a yes or a no, so you can sometimes give the benefit of the doubt to the referee in that instance.

"But then you see the two handball incidents in the second half and the players' arms going up and the ball hitting them and the referee waving them away.

Sending-off made it hard - Guardiola

"Emotions are running very high with the players because it's not just one decision in doubt, it's several."

Pique, who will now play against his former club Manchester United in the final in Rome on 27 May, admitted he could have conceded a spot-kick.

"The ball touched my arm," he confirmed. "The referee decided it wasn't a penalty and one has to respect the referee's decisions."

Barca coach Pep Guardiola, who has reached the Champions League final in his first season as a manager, said he could sympathise with Chelsea's frustrations.

"I can understand that Chelsea can be disappointed about the performance of the referee," stated Guardiola.

FOOTBALL BLOG
Phil McNulty

"I did not see the penalties they say there were but it is possible that there were.

"We tried to create but we didn't create much and it was hard against a Chelsea team that we expected to press up more.

"But we keep going, we are consistent. We had to play for 25 minutes with 10 men and still Chelsea stayed back."

Andres Iniesta, who scored Barca's late winner, said: "You cannot dream of moments like this. This is one of the happiest days of my life.

"I put my heart and soul into that shot and the ball went into the net in the only part of the goal where it could've gone in.

"I don't know what went through my head after I scored the goal."



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see also
Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona (agg 1-1)
06 May 09 |  Europe
Chelsea v Barca as it happened
06 May 09 |  Europe
Champions League photos
06 May 09 |  Europe


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