The Champions League is an extremely not nice tournament, one where a single wrong decision can shape the course of the entire thing. That looked like it was going to be the case thanks to a terrible handball decision in the waning moments of Wednesday’s game between Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen. Atleti, a side that is very good at mucking up games in knockout tournaments, needed a win to keep their hopes of moving on to the knockout stage alive, but found itself tied 2-2 in the final moments of injury time.
A corner kick played into the box looked like the end of the game, as the referee blew his whistle and Leverkusen players started celebrating. And then, VAR intervened, giving a handball and a penalty to the Spanish side.
Yannick Carrasco stepped up to the spot to try and take it, with the entire Estadio Metropolitano placing their hopes on the right foot of the Belgian midfielder. You can scroll ahead to the 3:25 mark of the below video if you want to see what happened next.
Chaos in Madrid!
The final whistle goes and Atletico are eliminated. VAR spots a handball gifting Atletico Madrid a penalty. Yannick Carrasco sees his penalty saved and Saul hits the bar!
Atletico are OUT! pic.twitter.com/tz1Hdz8Eem
— CBS Sports Golazo (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 26, 2022
So, basically, Carrasco’s effort was stopped by Lukas Hradecky, Saúl Ñíguez sprinted into the box and got a free header that bounced off the crossbar, and with the final kick of the game, Reinildo’s seemingly unimpeded path to goal somehow, someway hit the heel of Carrasco and went out of play to mark the end of the match and, eventually, Atleti’s hopes to move on in the Champions League.