Antwerp fans: "Is Shakhtar ashamed of the referees' help?"

2023-11-29 14:37 There are various "curses" in football that fans and even club representatives believe in. Many have ... Antwerp fans: "Is Shakhtar ashamed of the referees' help?"
29.11.2023, 14:37

There are various "curses" in football that fans and even club representatives believe in. Many have heard of Benfica, but there are more recent examples. For example, coach Mark van Bommel is considered "cursed" because he cannot win the Champions League group stage, although he is already the third club to participate in the most prestigious club tournament (PSV, Wolfsburg and Antwerp). After the loss to Shakhtar, this series has now lasted 14 matches. And there is a game against Barcelona ahead, in which the Belgian club is unlikely to get three points. According to local fans, whether you like it or not, you involuntarily start to believe that Van Bommel is really cursed. The Belgians also believe that the referee should have awarded two penalties to Shakhtar, which could have helped Antwerp win the match.

Cleiren: 5 defeats in 5 matches. There is only one game left to play against Barcelona, and there will also be a 99% defeat. You can listen to Van Bommel and his excuses for a long time, but isn't the coach to blame in such cases? Can't you always talk about bad luck, bad referees and injuries to players? It's time for Mark to take responsibility.

DeVelder: I'm not a big fan of the football Antwerp have been playing this season, especially in the Champions League, but I have to admit that today the referees helped Shakhtar by not noticing obvious infringements of the rules. I think Antwerp should have taken two penalties, but... Unfortunately, even in this regard, we are unlucky.

Poortere: Even before the match with Shakhtar, it was clear that Antwerp had already lost hope of finishing third, but we still wanted to win the Champions League at least once. But our team was unlucky. We played just as well as Shakhtar today, and in Belgium. Only luck was on the side of the Ukrainians again.

Claes: The problem is not just the coach or bad referees. "Antwerp accidentally became the Belgian champion last season. We were not the best club then, to be honest. But even having managed to get into the group round, the Antwerp management did not want to spend a lot of money on strengthening the squad. And this greed affected the team's results.

Wijngaert: "Antwerp did everything they could. Unfortunately, this is the level of Belgian club football. If the best team in the country plays so poorly, what can we talk about? You can criticise the coach, the players or even the referees, but it won't change anything.

Segers: The main character of the match was the referee. Both teams played poorly, but Shakhtar had 14 players on the pitch and a few more off the pitch today. It's disgusting when one team is dragged to victory the whole match.

Donaat: I don't take responsibility from the team, which really played badly today. But I also need to say a few words about the referee. Why do you need video replays if you don't use them? There were two obvious fouls in Shakhtar's penalty area. Was it a penalty? No. The referee "didn't see" the violations, and his assistants must have fallen asleep in their room with the TVs.

Verv: Recently, Ukrainians complained that they were sentenced in the match against Italy. Then all the journalists wrote about it, everyone sympathised with the Ukrainians. And what happened now? Now the referees helped the Ukrainians win, but for some reason they are silent. Let them not complain the next time they are offended.

Ginneken: They say that there were two penalties for Shakhtar. Experts on television have already analysed these moments and confirmed that the referees "did not notice" any serious violations. I would like to believe that they are just poorly qualified, but there are some doubts about this.

Braekeler: Many were quick to laugh again at Van Bommel and his anti-record streak, but today we need to talk about something else. The referees robbed Antwerp. The referee was Shakhtar's main fan today and tried his best to help the Ukrainians win this match.

Verbrugghe: Van Bommel's curse in action. I even feel a little sorry for him. Before the match, the journalists made our coach angry and almost drove him to a nervous breakdown. Nobody likes to be the worst in the tournament, and Van Bommel's "achievement" will be difficult to repeat. In addition, there is a match against Barcelona ahead, and there is no point in counting on a victory there.

Leyman: Given Antwerp's problems in the league and the Champions League, it's time to finally think about the work of the coaching staff. We are degrading, there are no prospects, and Van Bommel is sure that he is being unfairly criticised. It's strange to say the least.

Hernalsteen: I would like to thank the referees for this result. For some reason, they decided that they needed to help Shakhtar win this match. Are the Ukrainians really more important than the Belgians for European football? We didn't play perfectly, but why did they need to help Shakhtar?

Bruijn: You can call it a curse, a bad luck, or any other word. I'll say that there is just a tendency in Mark van Bommel's work. In the first season, he does well, he achieves results. And the second season is a failure. He had the same problem at PSV and then at Wolfsburg.

Desander: You can believe in curses or not, but there are statistics that cannot be fooled. If a coach works for three clubs in the same tournament and doesn't have a single win in 14 matches, it either means that he is a low level coach or that he is haunted by bad luck. In any case, Van Bommel gave Antwerp everything he could. We have to say thank you for everything and say goodbye.

Wolput: I wonder if Van Bommel is appointed coach of Manchester City, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, will he lose to all of them in a row? When your club loses 5 games in a row, it's no longer a coincidence. And if you remember that Van Bommel's bad luck at other clubs was in the Champions League, you involuntarily start to believe in curses.

Koen: Only two clubs have not scored a single point so far - Benfica and Antwerp. But for some reason, it seems that the Portuguese will not finish the tournament with 6 defeats out of 6. I can't say the same about our club. We're probably not the first to lose all the matches in the group stage, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Renotte: I agree that the referees worked poorly and there are many questions to ask. But first of all, we need to ask "did Antwerp do everything to win"? And here I would like to remind you that we lost 5 matches out of 5. Were the referees to blame for all the defeats? Or was it the coach's fault? Or the players and the club management? Unfortunately, we deservedly finish in last place in the group. And almost everyone at the club is to blame for that.

Huyghe: There will be 6 defeats in 6 matches. "Antwerp could not get rid of the curse that someone put on Van Bommel. With all due respect to our coach, this result is a disgrace for Antwerp. Bad referees, bad luck and poor player selection are also important reasons. But the most important thing is the coach's work. And here Van Bommel has to think about why he became the main loser of the Champions League.

Seynaeve: Were the Italians ashamed when they stole the victory from Ukraine in the national team match? I think not. Everyone talked about it for a few days and forgot about it. But Italy is already at the Euros, and Ukraine will be in the play-offs. That's why I find it funny to read comments that the Ukrainians will be ashamed of such a victory over Antwerp. The referees openly pulled Shakhtar out, turning a blind eye to many violations, not only in the penalty area. Experts on television have already explained all the referees' mistakes in detail, but I'm sure Shakhtar are happy that they won. And the Ukrainians don't care that they were given this victory, that they stole the victory from us. UEFA needs a good story, and I wouldn't be surprised if Shakhtar were helped to win in Portugal and qualified for the play-offs. It is simply impossible to imagine the Euros without Italy, but it is very easy to imagine the last 16 of the Champions League without Antwerp or Porto. By the way, the Italians later said that the referee should have awarded a penalty. What will the Ukrainians say?

Anton PROKOPOV

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