Galatasaray's coach Fatih Terim has accused referee Svein Oddvar Moen of "lacking courage" and making "many mistakes" after his side were defeated 3-0 by Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Terim insisted "I never comment on referees" but the problem is that the phrase "I never comment on referees" is invariably followed by a "but", and so it proved.
Galatasary had claimed two penalties, one in each half. The first appeal came after a possible handball by Sami Khedira when the ball hit him from a Wesley Sneijder header, while the second was for a challenge from Sergio Ramos on Burak Yilmaz. Although Ramos appeared to get a touch of the ball first, he trod on Yilmaz's foot. Rather than award a penalty, the referee booked the Galatasary striker and top scorer for diving, ruling him out of the second leg in a week's time.
Terim, who began his press conference by congratulating Real Madrid, admitted that his side had made "basic mistakes" on the first two goals and that there had been clear chances for Emmanuel Eboué and Didier Drogba which he would have expected them to take. He also insisted that there is a "big difference in quality between the players on the two teams" and that the difference had shown. But asked about the possible penalties, he was critical of the official.
"I would not like to talk about the penalties because I never comment on referees, but maybe Real Madrid's big name affected him," Terim said. "The referee did not have courage. Burak's foot was stepped on and everyone saw it except for the referee. I think the referee made many mistakes."
Terim's mention of "many mistakes" hinted at a number of other decisions that the Turkish side felt had gone Madrid's way. Although most of them were barely perceptible, replays suggest that Karim Benzema was fractionally offside when Michael Essien delivered the cross from which he scored the second, the free-kick that led to the third was questionable and Benzema was not penalised for a challenge that has been compared to the one that saw Nani get sent off against Madrid at Old Trafford in the last round.
When Madrid did get cards, it suited them. Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso both collected late yellows that mean that they will serve a suspension in the second leg and arrive clear of cards for the semi-final. José Mourinho, though, avoided the question of whether they were deliberate by claiming that, in fact, the cards had damaged his plans for the second leg.