No doubting what the big story in Italy was on Sunday, with the early game between Catania and Juventus serving up all sorts of controversy.
Gazzetta dello Sport leads this morning with the headline: “Juve what poison!” and a large section of Italian football fans are in uproar over the Catania goal that was disallowed for no reason coupled with the Old Lady’s match winner that was offside.
Sadly, match fixing in Italy is nothing new but erring on the side of caution, it is fair to say referee Andrea Gervasoni and his linesman had a shocker.
But, the bigger picture is that Juventus are favourites to win Serie A, having dropped just two points so far this season. Catania away was a big banana skin and the Old Lady received huge help from the officials.
Corriere dello Sport call the decisions “scandalous” whilst Tuttosport (who are Turin based) simply lead with the headline: “The referee makes mistakes, Juve don’t!”
Catania president Antonino Pulvirenti summed up the mood of his side: “We had a legitimate goal disallowed and an illegitimate goal was awarded to Juventus. Today, we witnessed the death of football. What should we do? Do we continue participating or do we passively accept these things? The linesman had given the goal, and then he changed his decision. Catania’s goal was disallowed by the Juventus bench.It is disgraceful that players who were warming up such as Simone Pepe and Emanuele Giaccherini got the goal disallowed by harassing the linesman.”
And, even Juventus sporting director Giuseppe Marotta admitted that “I admit that the [Catania] goal was legitimate.”
So poor were some of the decisions that certain bookmakers paid out on the Catania win!
On the videos below are Gonzalo Bergessio’s disallowed goal for Catania midway through the first half and then the Juventus winner from Arturo Vidal with Nicklas Bendtner in an offside position.
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