It was a correct decision not to award Inter Milan a first half handball penalty against Atletico Madrid.

This is the view in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.

Hungarian referee Istvan Kovacs was always likely to have a tough match on his hands yesterday.

And there was indeed an atmosphere of tension that made life difficult for the official.

But in the view of the Gazzetta, Kovacs marshalled the match exceptionally well.

The Hungarian kept control of proceedings. He had clear authority, but did not let the match become caught up in niggling stoppages, as play was allowed to flow at a fairly brisk tempo.

And Kovacs and his VAR got the major decisions right, the Gazzetta argue.

One of the biggest concerned a relatively early Inter appeal for a penalty.

In the first half, a shot from Nerazzurri captain Lautaro Martinez deflected off of Atletico defender Axel Witsel.

The ball hit the arm of Colchoneros wingback Nahuel Molina. And given that Molina’s arm was somewhat out from his body, The Inter players felt that it was worthy of a penalty.

Correct Decision Not To Award Inter Handball Penalty Vs Atletico Madrid

In the view of the referee, though, there was nothing intentional Molina’s movement.

The Argentine had little time to react to Witsel blocking Martinez’s shot.

Therefore, the official did not point to the spot. And the VAR saw no reason to advise Kovacs to have a second look.

The Gazzetta view this as the correct decision.

Meanwhile, the newspaper argues, Kovacs also did well in terms of keeping the players’ discipline.

There were no early yellow cards. But as the match began to fray a bit in the second half, the cards did come out for some rough tackles as well as dissent.

Mario Hermoso, Stevan Savic, Alvaro Morata, Davide Frattesi, Koke, and Carlos Augusto all went into the book. All were correct, in the view of the Gazzetta.