PSG's Pochettino says Benzema fouled Donnarumma for Real opener

Paris St Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino described his side's loss to Real Madrid as a "great injustice" as he felt Karim Benzema had fouled goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the build-up to Madrid's first goal.

Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino: "I have a feeling of great injustice because of the goal conceded after a clear foul by Benzema on Donnarumma, and from then on everyone's emotional state changed."   -  AP

Paris St Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino believes goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was fouled in the build-up to Real Madrid's first goal as his side lost Wednesday's Champions League last-16 clash 3-1, describing it as a "great injustice".

PSG forward Kylian Mbappe struck first in the second leg to put the French side 2-0 up on aggregate, but Karim Benzema scored in the 61st minute after an error from Donnarumma who mishandled the ball inside the area.

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Benzema went on to score two more goals in quick succession as Real Madrid reached the Champions League quarterfinal with a 3-2 aggregate win, but Pochettino said the Frenchman's first goal should not have stood.

"I have a feeling of great injustice because of the goal conceded after a clear foul by Benzema on Donnarumma, and from then on everyone's emotional state changed," Pochettino said.

"We couldn't manage our emotions well after that goal and we were too exposed. We had three-quarters of the tie in our favour and were the better team, but we leave with a tremendous blow and disappointment for not being able to advance.

"I can't consider it to have been a mistake when there was a clear foul. I say this after having seen the images 30-40 times with different cameras and different angles," he added.

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Pochettino said that he failed to understand how the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) had not deemed Benzema's action a foul.

"This is football as it's played in the top continental competition and the little details count. Today VAR did not see that foul and it was decisive in what later happened," he said.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said Benzema's first goal had energised his team. "With good pressure from Karim we had the chance to score our first goal and from there on the magic of this stadium and this fanbase came out," Ancelotti said.

"It's not too complicated. It gave us energy and destroyed our opponents. Because the last 30 minutes, there was only one team on the pitch," he added.

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