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Bitter Thomas Tuchel Slams Referee Szymon Marciniak After Real Madrid Eliminate Chelsea From UCL

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has handled himself with a lot of class in recent weeks.

His honest answers to questions about the club's ownership situation in the wake of Roman Abramovich's sanctioning by the UK government were widely commended.

But his fine run of form in front of the media ended on Tuesday night when he aimed lazy and unfair criticism at Champions League referee Szymon Marciniak.

Marciniak was the man in charge of Chelsea's quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid, which the Blues won 3-2 after extra-time, only to lose 5-4 on aggregate.

Tuchel was dissatisfied with Marciniak after Marcos Alonso had a goal ruled out for handball in the 62nd minute.

Slo-motion video replays eventually showed clearly that the ball had touched Alonso's right hand before he lashed it into the net.

As a result, the VAR informed Marciniak to disallow the goal, which he did without reviewing it himself at the pitch-side monitor.

This was a perfectly reasonable thing to do as the decision had been made based on fact and not the VAR's subjective opinion.

But Tuchel - despite admitting that he had not even seen the incident himself - slammed Marciniak.

Thomas Tuchel (left) pictured complaining to referee Szymon Marciniak after Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid

Thomas Tuchel (left) pictured complaining to referee Szymon Marciniak after Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid

In his post-match press conference, Tuchel insinuated that the referee had not been brave enough to give decisions against 13-time champions Real Madrid.

As quoted by football.london, he said: "When you play against Real Madrid, maybe you don't expect everyone has the courage.

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"I felt the little decisions in the first leg and today as well.

"I didn't see the goal but I am super disappointed he didn't come out and check it on it's own.

"You should stay the boss and not give the decisions to someone in a chair and who is isolated."

Tuchel was deflecting. His Chelsea team had blown it. They were sloppy defensively in the first leg and they wasted too many chances in the second.

After dominating for 75 minutes in Madrid to build a 3-0 lead courtesy of goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner, Real were restored back to life by a moment of Luka Modric magic.

A superb Modric pass set up Rodrygo, who forced the match into extra time, where Karim Benzema added to his trio of first-leg goals to give Real a victory that did not reflect the overall match stats.

Real went through because they were more clinical over the two matches.

The result had nothing to do with the referee not being brave enough.

That was not Tuchel's only beef with Marciniak though. The Chelsea boss was livid after seeing the ref politely smile and shake hands with Real manager Carlo Ancelotti.

The bitter Blues boss boss added: "I was disappointed that the referee had a good time with Carlo.

"When I wanted to go and say thank you, he was smiling and laughing with the opponent's coach.

"I think this is the very wrong time to do this after the final whistle, 126 minutes of a team giving their heart.

"When you go and see a referee smiling and laughing with the other coach, it's bad timing. I told him this."