WATCH: Referee Christina Unkel breaks down Champions League penalty call on Aymeric Laporte’s handball

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Manchester City’s 4-3 victory over Real Madrid wasn’t without controversy. Late in the match, Real were awarded a penalty due to a hand ball by Aymeric Laporte. Karim Benzema, in complete Karim Benzema style, converted with a chipped panenka to bring Real Madrid within one goal, but the lingering question about whether the penalty was correctly rewarded remained.

The tension comes from the fact that while Laporte’s arm was in an unnatural position, CBS Sports studio analysts Micah Richards and Jamie Carragher thought that it shouldn’t be a penalty due to the ball coming off of Laporte’s head before hitting his outstretched arm. But referee Christina Unkel was on hand with the breakdown of why the call was correct.

Unkel explained that the call was correct because the hand was in an unnatural position.

“You are taking a risk that this will be called. In this specific situation, he’s standing, he’s using his arms for going to gain some leverage. However, he distinctively leaves it just hanging in the middle of the air that much. that point, you are taking the risk that this is going to be called, she said. “We don’t leave our arms that high and when you do you take a risk”

There was considerable debate with Richards, a retired Premier League defender, disagreeing because of the way that the rule is interpreted in England. He claimed that since Laporte is using his arms to jump with and push off of Benzema it shouldn’t be considered an unnatural position. For both Richards and Carragher, who played in England, this likely wouldn’t have been a handball in the Premier League but as Unkel pointed out, UEFA has a different interpretation for the law.

“Watching Premier League they have a higher threshold but over here we’re using UEFA training and teaching which is closer to where we’re at with the FIFA analysis and the FIFA breakdown. She said.” I in UEFA we do give these more often than what I have seen in the Premier League and that is because of the individuals who are providing that instruction and here it is much more aligned with the instruction that FIFA gives worldwide.”

It does make for confusion when determining what is a penalty but by FIFA and UEFA instructions the handball on Laporte was called properly. English referees and the teams they officiate may not want to align with this interpretation which is their right domestically, but without alignment there will always be calls given in Champions League play that wouldn’t have been given in the Premier League.

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