BORUSSIA DORTMUND midfielder Emre Can labelled referee Danny Makkelie “arrogant” and “afraid” following their 2-1 aggregate defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League.
The Bundesliga giants took a 1-0 lead into the second leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening.
But goals from Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz handed Graham Potter’s men a place in the quarter-finals.
The crucial moment came shortly after the break when Ben Chilwell’s cross struck the arm of Marius Wolf.
After going over to the monitor, Makkelie awarded the spot kick.
But that was just the beginning of the drama.
Havertz stepped up and struck the post as Chelsea rued squandering a gilt-edged chance.
But just seconds later they were given the opportunity all over again.
That’s because the VAR spotted that Salih Ozcan, who cleared the ball away after it came back off the post, had encroached before the penalty was taken.
Havertz took responsibility once more, going the same way to convert at the second time of asking.
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And the scoreline stayed that way until full-time as Dortmund were left raging at the officials.
Ex-Liverpool man Can was then interviewed after the final whistle and did not hold back in his assessment of Makkelie’s performance.
He said: “The referee. It was his fault today. How can you give the second penalty in the situation? How does it work? That simply does not work!
“I don’t give a s*** who walked in there before. He was arrogant the whole game – that’s where it starts. We lost here undeservedly because of the referee.”
Sensationally, Can then went on to speculate whether Makkelie was fearful of the Chelsea supporters.
He added: “We play here at Stamford Bridge. Maybe he’s afraid of the fans, I don’t know.
“But then UEFA should send another referee.”
Chelsea’s win ended Dortmund’s 10-game winning streak since the World Cup.
But Edin Terzic’s side are still in with a good chance of winning the Bundesliga title as they sit level on points with table toppers Bayern Munich.
And the Dortmund boss will have to quickly overcome the frustration of their European exit.
Like Can, Terzic could not hide his disappointment at the referee after the defeat to Chelsea.
He said: “If a decision [the penalty] takes five or six minutes to make you know it’s not been an easy call.
“I’m the manager, I’m responsible for performances. But not for the performance of the referee.”