Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi stormed down the tunnel to confront an official in a furious rampage after the final whistle which officially sealed Real Madrid’s progress past the UEFA Champions League round of 16 and PSG’s elimination from the tournament.
PSG let a 2-0 aggregate lead slip and Real Madrid capitalised on the French side’s lack of drive to win the match 3-2 courtesy of a hat-trick from Karim Benzema.
Kylian Mbappe followed up his lone goal from the first leg with an early goal against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu and PSG looked in control of the game.
The front three of the French league leaders created a lot of problems for Real Madrid’s defence in the first half but failed to build on that momentum in the second half as Real Madrid took over.
Benzema hit a hat-trick in the space of 17 minutes in the second half to complete a wonderful comeback for the 13-time Champions League winners and knock PSG out of the competition.
Benzema’s first goal was a controversial one as the players handled the referee for the manner in which the French striker scored the goal. The veteran striker looked to have fouled PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the build-up to the goal.
The referee paid no heed to the calls from the bench and stands, and on the pitch by PSG players and carried on with the match. After the final whistle, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi stormed down the tunnel searching for the match referee.
A report from L’Equipe on the incident, citing the referee’s official match report, reads: “PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi behaved aggressively and tried to enter the referee’s dressing room.
“When the referee asked them to leave, the president hit a piece of the assistant’s equipment, breaking it.”
More witness reports on the incident claimed the PSG president alongside Leonardo Araujo, PSG’s sporting director, furiously stormed out of the referees room looking for who to table their grievances before and ended up coming face to face with Real Madrid delegate Mejia Devila, instead.
According to Diario AS, a Madrid employee recorded the incident with his phone and was threatened by Al-Khelaifi who said, “I’m going to kill you.”
PSG eventually sent a protocol employee to apologise to the referees and Real Madrid. When approached by journalists for a comment on the in incident, PSG’s representative responded:
“When we conceded the nerves set in and with the sense of injustice we were too open to concede further. At 1-1 we were still through but we conceded two more.
“Madrid had nothing to lose at 1-1 to take the game to extra-time and we could not react to the situation.”