Erling Haaland left fuming as referee slap in Real Madrid clash angers Man City stars

Referee Francois Letexier making contact with Erling Haaland’s face. (Image: TNT Sports.)

Manchester City and Erling Haaland were left furious after referee Francois Letexier accidentally slapped the striker in the face as they exited the pitch at half-time of Tuesday’s Champions League tie. The Norwegian was not on target in the Bernabeu as Pep Guardiola’s outfit drew 3-3 with Real Madrid in a European thriller, but found himself at the centre of drama alongside the match official.

The striker was far from happy as he walked off the pitch down 2-1 after deflected efforts from Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo cancelled out Bernardo Silva’s opener.

He was making his way towards the tunnel with referee Letexier after an opening 45 minutes with few touches of the ball, but the official ended up accidentally hitting Haaland with the back of his hand.

The referee was signalling in Haaland’s direction was unaware of the incoming striker and caught him in the face, with City sure to make Letexier aware of their disapproval.

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The referee apologising to Erling Haaland. (Image: TNT Sports.)

He was quickly surrounded by several of Haaland’s team-mates before immediately apologising to Haaland and informing the 23-year-old that he was gesturing to Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal.

But Haaland was uninterested in the referee saying sorry and threw his arms up in protest, though the incident did not go any further and they amicably left the pitch.

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Erling Haaland during Manchester City’s 3-3 draw with Real Madrid. (Image: Getty)

Haaland emerged for the second half seemingly unscathed after the incident with Letexier, but was unable to get into the game thanks to superb marking by Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni.

Instead, the buck was passed to his team-mates and they duly stepped up, with Phil Foden equalising in the second half with a superb curling effort from distance.

Josko Gvardiol stepped up minutes later and matched Phil Foden with another long-range strike, his first for the club, but Federico Valverde similarly drew the hosts level again with another wonder-strike from the edge of the box, setting up another blockbuster in six days.

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Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1886677/Erling-Haaland-ref-slap-Man-City-Madrid