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FC Bayern: Referee Tobias Stieler celebrates VAR as a “lifesaver”



FC Bayern: Referee Tobias Stieler celebrates VAR as a "lifesaver"

Tobias Stieler vacillated between shame, deepest gratitude and relief. “My soul is crying a bit,” said the referee after a true Bundesliga curiosity in the game between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich (2-1), “but the football world can be satisfied.” The football world – yes. Himself – not at all.

The referee from Hamburg made two big mistakes in Sunday’s league game between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. Twice he accused Leverkusen’s Amine Adli of swallowing in the Bayern penalty area, twice he imposed a yellow card full of conviction for this alleged attempt at deception. And: Twice he had to take it back sheepishly, ask for an apology and give Bayer a penalty. Exequiel Palacios converted twice, it was a surprising 2-1 (0-1) victory.

Stieler knew who to turn to after the final whistle: his colleague Sören Storks. “It was a prime example of the perfect collaboration with the video assistant,” he said DAZN. “The VAR always gets a lot of criticism, but that was very good. He was sort of my lifesaver – and also the lifesaver for the game.” The summary: “Twice on the field next to it, twice many thanks to the Kölner Keller for the great support. In the end both teams were happy because the right decision was made.”

Julian Nagelsmann’s mood was by no means aptly described as “happy”, but that wasn’t due to the penalty decisions. After looking at the pictures, there was simply nothing to discuss. “I’m a friend of the VAR, it was correct, there were two penalties and therefore in the sense of fairness,” emphasized the Bayern coach. Thomas Müller came to a similar conclusion: “We don’t need to discuss the referee’s decisions, we have other issues there.”

FC Bayern: Kimmich doubts the penalty decision

Only Joshua Kimmich expressed doubts about the second penalty in the mixed zone when Dayot Upamecano had knocked Adli off his feet. “From my point of view, Upa tried extremely hard to pull his legs away and didn’t want to touch him at all,” he said. “Maybe there’s a touch of cleverness from the striker. On the other hand, I don’t know if you have to give it.” There was “definitely” a touch, “but Upa did a lot to get away from it.”

For Stieler, on the other hand, the matter was also clear with the second penalty kick: “If you see it from the behind-goal camera, Upamecano slips uncontrollably into the player and there is clear contact.”

By the way, there is no bad blood with Adli: “We hugged each other during the game and after the game. Now he promised me the jersey. Let’s see if it goes down well,” revealed Stieler.