Real Madrid drew 1-1 with Manchester City in the Etihad stadium on Wednesday night after a controversial penalty was awarded to City by Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi. Rocchi penalised Álvaro Arbeloa for supposedly grabbing the shirt of Kun Agüero in the box and sent the full-back off for a second yellow card. The decision has been widely criticised in the international press, with even English journalists saying that the referee got it wrong.
One of the most critical newspapers in England was 'The Guardian', with their match report stating: "Gianluca Rocchi was wrong to decide that Arbeloa had fouled Agüero for the penalty. The unfortunate Arbeloa was shown a second yellow card when the first, for another foul on Agüero, was actually committed by Xabi Alonso."
Another English newspaper, 'The Sun', admitted that Agüero "went down as Alvaro Arbeloa stumbled clumsily" and 'The Daily Star' said the two players were "entangled". None of these newspapers believed that Arbeloa had intended to bring the Argentine down, instead claiming both players had simply fallen over.
Italian paper 'Corriere dello Sport' spoken about the "harshness" of their compatriot's decision to award the penalty and red card to Arbeloa, pointing out that "the incident started outside the penalty area", while Mexican newspaper 'Récord' said the decision "took everyone by surprise" .
All the papers reported that Madrid were superior to City in the match, and that Roberto Mancini's side only had the chance to get back in the game thanks to this controversial decision.