Last night, Real Madrid and Manchester City battled it out in a tightly-contested match that ended in a 1-1 stalemate at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Though the first leg finished all square, both squads will head into next week’s return fixture with no advantage regarding the scoreboard.
However, the result could’ve easily swung in Madrid’s favor.
In the build-up to Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half goal, the ball seemed to have sailed out of play before Bernardo Silva got ahold of it and continued.
The ref didn’t blow the whistle, and the play went on, with De Bruyne eventually rattling the net with a scorching effort just outside the box.
It sparked vehement protests from Madrid’s players while Carlo Ancelotti, pacing the touchline, also contested the call, which even earned him a yellow card.
The VAR also didn’t intervene, much to Ancelotti’s annoyance, who pointed it out in the presser, remarking: “beIN showed the ball was out. We all saw it, 3D technology. But VAR didn’t see it.”
Technicality Denies Real Madrid Victory Over Manchester City
Now, UEFA sources have clarified the play, noting that while the ball was out, the VAR couldn’t butt in because Madrid had briefly regained possession, considering it a “new passage of play,” reports Eurosport (via Madrid Xtra).
It was a mistake from the ref, not halting for the ball going out, but the VAR couldn’t cancel the goal as Madrid had already recovered control, albeit fleetingly.
So, despite the on-field official’s error, the VAR couldn’t step in due to a technicality.
Madrid will still take heart from their performance against City, especially stifling Erling Haaland, limiting him to the fewest touches of any player.
Los Blancos will have to pick themselves up for the return leg at the Etihad next week as they look to defend their European crown.