Former referee Luca Marelli believes that the first penalty awarded to Inter in the derby against AC Milan was open to interpretation, but that the second was clear-cut.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster DAZN after the match, the former official explained that in his view the situation of the first penalty was ambiguous, though there was no reason to go to VAR after the referee pointed to the spot.
Early in the first half of the match Hakan Calhanoglu scored from the spot to put the Nerazzurri ahead against his old side, winning the ball off of former teammate Franck Kessie before a tangle of legs inside the area led to him going to ground.
It was not entirely clear who initiated the contact, but the challenge by the Rossoneri man was clumsy and referee Daniele Doveri had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick.
For the Nerazzurri’s second penalty of the first half, Milan defender Fode Ballo-Toure scythed down Matteo Darmian who had beaten him for pace into the penalty area, and there could be no complaints about this decision.
“Two very different penalties,” Marelli analyzed. “On the first there is ample room for discussion: the arguments in favour are that Calhanoglu is tripped by Kessie with his left leg, the argument in favour is that the contact was started by Calhanoglu. It can only be assessed on the pitch and the VAR cannot intervene.”
He went on that “There is no doubt about the second penalty: there is an obvious foul on Darmian and a fair warning because it is a clear opportunity close to the goal.”