Borussia Dortmund had serious grounds to feel hard done by as the Germans had what appeared to be a perfectly good goal ruled out in their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City.
However, Romanian official Ovidiu Hategan incredibly blew for an infringement before the ball was in the goal, adjudging that Bellingham had fouled Ederson by raising his foot to pinch the ball from his toes despite the Englishman making no contact at all.
Did Man City get away with one here?Bellingham scores after colliding with Ederson but the whistle goes for a free-kick before he puts it in ❌Because it wasn’t a goal, VAR couldn’t get involved 😳 pic.twitter.com/L6qSac6YtR
— Goal (@goal) April 6, 2021
Hategan appears to have been sold by Ederson’s theatrical flop, even though it was the City stopper who had ended up kicking the Dortmund midfielder rather than the other way round.
Fans and pundits on social media were fuming at the disallowed goal, with former Liverpool and England ace Stan Collymore describing it as “embarrassing” officiating from the Romanian.
Embarrassing that this isn’t a goal by Bellingham.Just embarrassing. Struggling to understand so many decisions in the sport today. This is just not fair or right or even remotely an infringement. pic.twitter.com/VcpyU2AvzR
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) April 6, 2021
Elsewhere it was described as an “historically bad decision” and “genuinely appalling” – especially in an age when VAR technology is supposed to eradicate refereeing howlers of this magnitude.
A genuinely appalling decision. Nothing wrong with that from Bellingham.
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) April 6, 2021
Jude Bellingham has the ball in the back of the net vs. Man City… but the referee says no!The teenager robbed Ederson of the ball, but play was pulled back for a foul. @jjenas8 thinks the hosts got away with one there… 😬 pic.twitter.com/hYLhvQojxX
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 6, 2021
Bellingham booked for scoring a perfectly good goal 😂
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) April 6, 2021
The official Dortmund Twitter account simply shared a series of question mark emojis, while sidelined star Jadon Sancho – deprived of the chance to face his former club due to injury – issued his disgust, writing: “This Ref needs checking!”
Even more remarkably, Bellingham was booked for the incident, on an appearance in which the English ace became the second-youngest player ever to start a match at this stage of he competition.
This Ref needs checking! 🤦🏽♂️
— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) April 6, 2021
Bellingham’s equaliser for Dortmund being disallowed at City showing referees like Ovidiu Haţegan can have all the tech help to watch incidents repeatedly but still get decisions wrong
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 6, 2021
It’s not the first time Romanian official Hategan has been involved in controversial scenes this season.
He was also the match referee when PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir stormed off the pitch in protest during the Champions League group stage after claims that fourth official Sebastian Coltescu had used racially-charged language to a member of the Basaksehir coaching staff.
Also on rt.com UEFA suspends Romanian official over racism row which sparked Champions League walk-off
Back at the Etihad on Tuesday, a thrilling end to proceedings saw Dortmund grab an equalizer through Marco Reus in the 84th minute, only for Phil Foden to pinch a late winner for the hosts when he sidefooted home from a Ilkay Gundogan assist, after more good work from De Bruyne.
City now take a slender lead to Germany in a week’s time, but with Dortmund having secured a potentially crucial away goal in the tie.