Although the German media described the defeat of Leverkusen’s footballers in the European League with Slavia on Thursday as deserved, they paused to expel Karim Bellarabi. According to them, the red card was useless, shocking and controversial.
Bellarabi received a red card from referee William Collum in the 22nd minute after tripping the escaping Lukáš Provod. Slavia did not use a penalty kick at first, but ten minutes before the end after the corner kick, the Czech champion Peter Olayinka decided on the victory.
“It was a bitter evening for Leverkusen. He fought in the weakening most of the match and eventually lost it deservedly,” wrote the Geissener Allgemeine. “Knockout after a ridiculous exclusion. An unfortunate and unnecessary loss to Slavia is a complication in the fight for promotion,” the daily Bild added.
“Bellarabi tried to stop Provoda, slipped and hit Slavie. A clear yellow card, everyone thought. But to the dismay of Leverkusen, referee Collum pulled out a red card,” Bild said. “Bellarabi couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the color of the card that referee Collum was holding in his hand,” the Rheinische Post added.
“Repeated shots clearly showed that it was a strict decision. And because there are no video judges in the group stage of the European League, no one changed the verdict. Leverkusen played weak for a long time and eventually succumbed to Slavia,” the Rheinische Post added on its website.
“After the gala performance against Nice (win 6: 2), the decimated Leverkusen returned to the ground,” said the n-tv.de server. “Bayer was missing six players due to injury and from the 22nd minute he also had to play in weakness after a dubious red card for Bellarabi,” the portal added.
“Leverkusen played for almost 70 minutes in a weakening after a very controversial red card for Bellarabi. Experienced Scottish referee Collum gave Bellarabi a red card even though the midfielder had previously slipped and had not hit the opponent hard,” wrote sport1.de.
We should have won in weakness, says the coach
Leverkusen football coach Peter Bosz was a little more conciliatory immediately after the match, and he did not complain about Bellarabi’s immediate expulsion. According to the 56-year-old coach, it was mainly an unnecessary intervention, and he was also convinced that his team should have won weakening in Prague on Thursday.
“Some people say it wasn’t on the red card, but it was a foul. And I think it was a completely unnecessary foul,” the coach pointed out that Bellarabi hit Provod deep in the Slavic half of the court.
Bosz was also convinced that even in the weakening, his team should have benefited more from the match in Eden. “It was a completely unnecessary defeat. It is of course difficult to play in the weakening from the 22nd minute, but we should not have lost anyway,” said the former Ajax or Dortmund coach.
Slavia were able to take advantage of the numerical advantage in the 65th minute, but Nicolae Stanciu did not convert the penalty and failed to reach. “It was an unnecessary penalty,” said Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who caused a penalty kick by a foul on Peter Olayinka.
“Fortunately, I caught it, but then we got a goal,” added the Finnish national team. “It’s a pity, because we played compactly even in the weakening, and I think it could have ended 0-0 or 1: 1,” added Hradecky, who overcame Olayinka in the 80th corner and decided Slavia’s unexpected victory.
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