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Referee admits mistake hurt Barcelona in Champions League loss against Atlético Madrid

In a moment of candor, Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli admits: "I was tricked."

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli, who oversaw Barcelona's defeat against Atletico Madrid which saw the Blaugrana exit the Champions League, has admitted he made a mistake in not awarding a late penalty for the Catalan club.

Atletico midfielder Gabi committed handball inside the area in the 93rd minute, which should've resulted in a penalty for Barcelona. Had Lionel Messi scored the ensuing kick, we would have seen extra time. Instead, Barcelona crashed out.

Speaking to Italy's RAI, Rizzoli said: "Unfortunately the defender's feet were outside the area and I was tricked. With technology in football the error wouldn't have happened. I was doing good work until the 93rd minute."

The ref insisted that he would have gotten the call right with the aid of replay, and downplayed suggestions that video checks would slow the game down.

"It's a question of seconds," he said. "With the help of technology we could arrive at a more precise verdict."

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