Was Wolfsburg’s penalty really a PK against Real Madrid?

Real Madrid’s 2-0 loss to Wolfsburg in the first round of the Champions League quarterfinals was the shock result of the round. Everybody expected it to be an easy win for Zidane’s boys. There were plenty of factors that went into the loss. The grueling match against Barcelona didn’t ensure that Real Madrid were going into the game in the best state. The early goal from Ronaldo that was flagged offside didn’t start the game off well. The shambolic defending made it so that Real Madrid could have been losing by more. But it was the controversial penalty that opened the floodgates for Wolfsburg. But the question is, was it really a penalty?

In real time, it looked like a penalty. Real Madrid’s Casemiro steps in on Andre Shurrle as he takes the shot and knocks Shurrle off his feet. It looks like a clear penalty. Watch this replay, though:

Okay, there’s Casemiro running in on Shurrle. Shurrle winds up as Casemiro approaches, and Shurrle drops dramatically. What’s the difference?

FoulWatch Shurrle’s left foot closely. This is where Casemiro would have had to have made contact, but there doesn’t appear to have been any. Instead, it looks like Shurrle clips his own ankle. Casemiro gets the ball and there is little-to-no contact. We can see in the picture to the right, that the ball sits comfortably between Casemiro’s legs and his foot is planted behind both of Schurrle’s feet. That being said, it wasn’t a dive by Shurrle, either.

This is a case where neither party was in the wrong, and it was a bad call by the referee. Real Madrid can count themselves unlucky in this case, because an early goal changes a game. What the goal does not account for, however, was the shambolic defending that Real Madrid displayed the rest of the half, which saw all four of Real Madrid’s defenders lose all of their attempted tackles. This lead to the second goal, and they could count themselves both lucky and unlucky that the game ended 2-0.

A bad call can change a game, that much has always been clear, but Real Madrid shouldn’t use that to excuse how they played afterward. If, and at this most most likely when, they get eliminated from the Champions League, Real Madrid need look no farther than themselves.

About Jeff Snyder

Jeff Snyder is a professional writer and has been in sports broadcast for almost half a decade. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheJackAnty.