|Atlético de Madrid||-||Leverkusen|
Paolo Tagliavento has not only a nice sounding typical Italian name, but he also looks exactly like you would picture a Roman hero of old times. Tonight he was not flawless, but no need to feed him to the wild animals inside the Colosseum for the "panem et circenses" routine. He missed the first yellow, but was right in most of the decisions and looked almost always very sure what he was doing.
Hanno Balitsch should have been booked after five minutes for a ruthless tackling with both legs, but instead Tagliavento gave Semi Hypiää the honour of the first yellow after ten minutes for a less menacing foul to my mind. It was high time for the first caution as Leverkusen looked very prone on getting physical if he hadn't reached for his book. This strategy worked as things calmed down after that. Atletico played much less physical than I had thought - in the first half Leverkusen had a lot of unchallenged possession.
Foul detection and penalty
Paolo Tagliavento issued a low-key performance tonight and kept a composed approach to all challenges. He talked little to the players, but when he had a quiet word his signals were clear. He detected fouls easily and had no problem at all deciding against the whistling home crowd. He saw the late challenge by Hypiää which led to a penalty for Atletico to put the scores level. But he didn't issue a second yellow for Hypiäa just for the sake of statistics. He rewarded a fair spirit by keeping the cards in his pocket for the rest of the evening (third yellow for Leverkusen in the closing stages of the match for a tactical foul).