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Chelsea-Barcelona Match Marred by Terrible Refereeing

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 06:  Barcelona players argues with referee Tom Henning Ovrebo during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on May 6, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Adrian DylanContributor IMay 6, 2009

A promising night of football was overshadowed by the worst display of refereeing in the history of European competition.

First, referee Tom Henning Ovrebo chose to send off Barcelona's Eric Abidal for no reason, when Nicolas Anelka fell over while running with the ball.

Then he failed to award three clear penalties to Chelsea—once when Malouda was brought down inside the box, and another two for clear incidents of hand ball: one by Samuel Eto'o and the other with Barca defender Gerard Pique who even admitted publicly after the match that he was astonished when he got away with deliberately hitting the ball with his hand in the box.

No one can feel good about this evening's display. Even Barcelona, who clearly left the pitch knowing that they are undeservedly headed for the Final, minus several key players who were awarded unwarranted yellow cards.

Overall verdict: Embarrassing.


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