Jude Bellingham called the refereeing of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League defeat to Chelsea a “joke”, although he warned he would not slander himself with another fine.
On Tuesday, Borussia Dortmund took a 1-0 lead at Stamford Bridge in the second leg after Karim Adeyemi’s goal at Signal Iduna Park gave them a lead in the round of 16.
But Raheem Sterling equalized on aggregate in the 43rd minute before Marius Wolff was found guilty of deflecting a cross from Ben Chilwell in Dortmund’s box shortly after half-time.
Kai Havertz hit the post with his original penalty, but after a Dortmund player allegedly impinged on him, a re-kick was awarded and Havertz made no mistake with the second penalty, sending Alexander Meyer the wrong way as Chelsea held on to knock out Dortmund.
Bellingham, who was fined €40,000 (£35,665) by the German Football Association (DFB) in 2021 for criticizing referee Felix Zweier, was unhappy with both the penalty and the retake decision, accusing Havertz of his teammates approach the area.
“From where I was, it seemed like he was pretty close and I’m not sure what else he can do with his hands,” Bellingham told BT Sport. “It’s a yard or two from here.
“I don’t want to get in trouble, I paid them enough.
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— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) March 7, 2023
“That in itself is disappointing, and the fact that they had a retake I think is a joke. For every penalty, especially when you have such a slow run up, there will be people invading the box for a yard or so.
“But it’s a game, I guess he’s made up his mind and we have to live with it.”
Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic was keen to focus on his team’s shortcomings rather than blaming the referee, although he also felt it was a tough decision that was against his side.
“I am responsible for the performance of our team and for my performance,” said Terzic. “I don’t want to talk about the judge.
“This is the third time that your media colleagues have asked me this question. I think it was a difficult challenge and a tough decision, but that’s the way it is.”
Despite the loss, Terzić was proud of his players and pointed to Chelsea’s massive transfer market spending as evidence that his side were competing at the highest level.
“Fair play for Chelsea and congratulations,” Terzic added. “It’s been two very tight games and in the end it’s the inches that decide if you make it to the next round or not.
“We have enough quality in the team and that’s good. These two games are what we want. We don’t want to compete with Chelsea on the transfer market, we want to compete with Chelsea on matchday and I think we’ve done it twice.”