Atalanta left fuming after referee blows his half-time whistle EARLY against Real Madrid with Luis Muriel through on goal... as angry fans claim Serie A side have been 'completely mugged off'
Atalanta players were left furious after the referee blew his half-time whistle prematurely against Real Madrid with their side through on goal.
Atalanta crashed out at the last-16 stage of the Champions League after going down 4-1 on aggregate against Madrid - losing the second leg 3-1 on Tuesday night in the Spanish capital.
But with Tuesday's scoreline at 1-0 to Madrid and Atalanta still feeling they had a sniff in the Champions League tie, there was a hugely controversial moment on the stroke of half-time.
Atalanta striker Luis Muriel had been played in on goal following a wonderfully weighted pass from midfield, and he had the perfect opportunity to equalise on the night and put his side within just one goal of going through.
But much to Atalanta's frustration, referee Danny Makkelie whistled for half-time with 44:59 minutes on the clock and denied Muriel the chance to clinch what could have been a vital away goal.
The Atalanta bench and members of staff immediately vented their fury at the referee on Tuesday night.
Furthermore, fans flocked to social media to express their anger too at the decision in Madrid.
One user wrote: 'UEFA's fraudulence is happening right in front of our eyes. Atalanta had a free shot at goal and the referee blows for half-time.'
'The referee has completely mugged off Atalanta there,' another fan wrote. 'How can a ref see a 2 v 1 goal scoring opportunity that's 25 yards from goal and blow for half-time?!?!'
Meanwhile, a Barcelona fan didn't miss the opportunity to express his feelings, posting: 'VARdrid back at it', alongside two laughing and two clown emojis.
Another Twitter user replied to that post: 'Why would the referee blow the whistle when Muriel is on side Real Madrid really cheating again.'
And the fury kept coming, with someone else writing: 'Why did the ref whistle in the middle of Atalanta's counter? Real keep getting away with this.'
And finally, one fan asked: 'Can Real Madrid for once in their history win a game in CL knockouts without referees’ assistance?'
Atalanta were still fuming from the first leg when Remo Freuler was harshly sent off just 17 minutes into the game before Madrid went onto win 1-0 thanks to Ferland Mendy's late strike.
Madrid completed the job on Tuesday night after winning the second leg 3-1 thanks to goals from Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Marco Asensio.