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Apr 2, 2014

Bayern slam ref for 'double standards'

Bayern Munich were vocal in their condemnation of the refereeing in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester United following Bastian Schweinsteiger's red card.

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Schweinsteiger was sent off for only the second time in his Champions League career after he received a second yellow card for a challenge on United forward Wayne Rooney in the 90th minute of Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, and is set to be suspended for the second leg at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer accused referee Carlos Velasco Carballo of double standards when referring to United winger Antonio Valencia's tackle on Jerome Boateng.

"If you apply the same standards then I don't know why Valencia stays on the field," Sammer told reporters. "If the referee has a line then he needs to stick to that.

"There is no question that Bastian committed a foul, but Valencia made several fouls and there was his tackle on Jerome Boateng. On this level, you need to apply the same standards."

Bayern centre-back Boateng echoed Sammer's words about his clash with Valencia.

"That was a clear second yellow. I've got a laceration wound on my knee," he said.

"Looking at Valencia's leading leg, I can't understand the decision," Thomas Mueller said about the sending-off of his Germany teammate.

Bayern captain Phillipp Lahm added: "That's bitter, especially when Valencia stays on the pitch. The difference is just too big."

When asked if he agreed with the red card for Schweinsteiger, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said: "Absolutely not. I spoke with the referee and he gave me his opinion. I have to respect [it].

"He is a very good referee. He made a very, very good game, but it is unfair, but it is OK. To win the Champions League you have to solve and overcome everything. In football this kind of thing happens."

Schweinsteiger had earlier scored Bayern's equaliser with a firm strike into the roof of the net, and the German media hailed his contribution while lamenting his late red card.

"Schweinsteiger red causes trouble," the biggest German tabloid Bild headlined. "Schweini-Red hurts Bayern severely.

"Schweini frustrated by the decision enters a short war of words with Rooney, coach Guardiola rages on the sideline. It wasn't any use at all. Schweini will miss the return leg."

Der Spiegel headlined "Schweinsteiger saves draw in Manchester," while focusing on United's counter-attacking approach.

"Manchester United did not even try to act as the big team they have been in the past decades. The English side, only seventh in Premier League, gave up the midfield without a fight. In numbers: 78 percent possession of the ball for FC Bayern."

German broadsheet Sueddeutsche Zeitung pointed out that, after not being regularly challenged in the Bundesliga and with a "thousand-point lead," Bayern Munich struggled to raise their game.

"While Manchester gave up the midfield completely, it was evident that the sharpness in Munich's game can't be reprogrammed at the flick of a switch," Sueddeutsche wrote. "Ten years ago, a German team would have been happy to return from the island with such a result. That FC Bayern are somewhat disappointed with that result in the spring of 2014 has to be regarded as a compliment. It speaks for the quality of the team."

Munich tabloid tz put the spotlight on Bayern's first-half performance.

"It was pure dominance at Old Trafford," it wrote. "Still: No shots at the goal. To shoot from distance was, like so many times before, not part of the plan. And 18 metres in front of the Red Devils' goal it was tight. Because 11 Devils lined up. To hell with that."

Another Bavarian tabloid, Die Abendzeitung, asked "Rooney a diver?" and rued another setback for Bayern's midfield department.

"Schweinsteiger's absence in the second leg is all the more annoying because only seconds before [Javi] Martinez also saw the yellow card and will miss the reverse fixture," it wrote. "Just like the injured Thiago [Alcantara]. Not a lot of holding midfielders left for the planned march into the semifinals."

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