Referee accused of ‘wanting Neymar’s autograph’

RB Leipzig manager Jesse Marsch has accused the referee of ‘wanting Neymar’s autorgraph’ during his side’s 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

The game was plagued with VAR drama in a result that confirmed the Bundesliga side’s exit from the competition.

And manager Marsch felt the officiating was unfair, accusing referee Andreas Ekberg of showing too much respect to Paris Saint-Germain.

“I was really angry from minute one with the performance of the referee,” said Marsch.

“I’ve often experienced that these massive clubs get all the respect from the referees and not the smaller clubs, and the only way to end this is to heighten my emotions. Otherwise, it continues.

“Even when the fans start whistling, nothing changes, and it was the same with the fourth official. I said I have two options; either sit here and take everything from you or get emotional to try to get more respect from the referee.

In many moments it was like the referee wanted an autograph from Neymar after the game, if I’m totally honest.

“I know that it’s super here in Leipzig with Neymar and (Angel) di Maria and (Kylian) Mbappe and great players but let us have a normal game where we can all say it was fair.

“Even the second penalty was really clear but he needed the VAR to look at it, otherwise it certainly wouldn’t have been given.”

While RB Leipzig exit the Champions League, their hopes of a Europa League spot remain alive, and Marsch was quick to praise his side for going toe-to-toe at home against the French giants.

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“It’s a massive step for me to play so well against these opponents,” he added.

“When you look at both of the games together we must get more confidence from them. We have seen with the results and moments in the games that we make life difficult for ourselves in many moments. So that makes my life and our lives very difficult.

“But we must remain positive and believe in our style, our team, our lads, our cohesion, and once more, this is certainly an opportunity but we need to emerge from this phase where we are making everything difficult for ourselves.”

Source: Eurosport