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Mauricio Pochettino blames VAR for Champions League elimination vs Real Madrid



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid pulled off the unthinkable as they pulled off their two-goal deficit and powered their way through to the quarter-finals with a 3-2 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Coming into this game on the back of a 1-0 lead, PSG looked imperious in the first half, after initially enduring a dodgy start to the proceedings. They put pressure on the Real Madrid backline, asking questions in the final third.

The pressure was rewarded when Kylian Mbappe capitalised on a quick counter-attack to make it 1-0, thus extending PSG’s overall lead to two goals heading into half-time.

However, a second-half masterclass from the Real Madrid team saw the hosts make an extraordinary comeback, with Karim Benzema grabbing a hat-trick to put Los Blancos in the ascendancy.

Speaking to the media after the game, PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino questioned the role of VAR, blaming the technology for his side’s shocking defeat.

“Real Madrid’s first goal changed the match. I wonder what the VAR is doing because for me there is something else. It’s a shame, when you see the action, there’s a fault,” said Pochettino (h/t Madrix Xtra), referring to the incident prior to the first goal that saw Benzema closing down Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The PSG goalkeeper was dwelling on the ball for too long, causing him to concede a dangerous turnover inside the box. Vinicius Junior grabbed the opportunity with both hands, putting it on the plate of Benzema for the equaliser.

The PSG players were seen complaining to the ref, with Donnarumma even getting a yellow card. But the referee nor the VAR opted to overturn the decision, which seemed like the right call at the end.

The shocking elimination from the Champions League could be consequential for Pochettino, who has faced fierce criticism for his mismanagement of players at PSG. It appears the Argentine could on his way out of Parc des Princes in the summer, amid interest from Manchester United, as per ESPN.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid defender on the radars of Juventus, could leave for €6-8 million



Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Real Madrid are looking towards a heavy splurge in the coming summer transfer window. After all, they do not even have another option given the sheer number of player departures already finalized.

Los Blancos have lost the services of Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz, and Eden Hazard over the past week. While three of the four players predominantly featured on the bench, their presence in the squad gave Carlo Ancelotti’s side much-needed depth and a cushion of sorts.

The forward unit is, thus, the most prioritized department ahead of the transfer window. However, pieces are beginning to fall apart on other fronts and could potentially put the club in a difficult situation.

According to reports from Gianluca Di Marzio, Juventus are eyeing Lucas Vazquez and hope to sign him in the coming month. Contacts between the two parties have begun and the transfer fee discussed appears to be around the €6 million to €8 million ballpark given that he has just one year left on his contract.

The player, for his part, is willing to sign for the Italian giants given his relative lack of minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu. At 31 years of age, he understandably does not want to play a second-fiddle role.

Vasquez played part in 23 of Real Madrid’s 38 La Liga games last season, starting only on 12 occasions. Even in his few appearances, he averaged a mere 50 minutes per game.

The veteran completed the season with four goals and an assist to his name. Further, he averaged five defensive actions and a key pass in every game and feels hard done by his limited role.

Vazquez’s departure would place the club in a tricky situation as it would leave Real Madrid with only Dani Carvajal as a natural right-back option. Nacho Fernandez could, in theory, serve as the backup but a new signing for the position cannot be ruled out.

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