World press agrees: Pepe did not deserve a red card
L'Equipe: "The biggest mistake in the game was Pepe's send-off"
The world press coincides in deeming the red card Pepe saw against Barcelona as unfair and decisive in the outcome of the game.
Pete Jenson, The Independent (UK)
"Pepe was shown a red card for a challenge on Dani Alves after the break with the theatrical reaction to the foul ensuring the card was red and not yellow, as it should have been."
Daily Mirror (UK)
"Real defender Pepe went on 62 minutes for a studs-up challenge on Dani Alves. It was a yellow card at worst. But the Barcelona players surrounded Stark like a pack of wolves to demand action. The official panicked and produced red."
Jacopo Gerna, Gazzeta dello Sport (Italy)
"Harsh send-off. Without Pepe's questionable red card on the 61-minute mark the match couldn't have ended the way it did."
"In a match plagued by errors and confrontations, the most noteworthy was Pepe's send-off."
"An excessive red card for Pepe left Real Madrid with ten men a fourth time against Barcelona."
"Stark's mistake was to call a red card when it should have been yellow, but his greatest sin was to deprive us of football."
El Mundo (Spain)
"Once again, Real Madrid ended the match with ten men against Barcelona following Pepe's challenge on Alves, interpreted by the referee as violent when a yellow card would have probably sufficed."
"Stark arrived and made a mess of things by booking Pepe with a red card when it should have been yellow at worst. He killed the tie with one blow. He destroyed Real Madrid and gave wings to a Barcelona side that had begun to give way."
La Gaceta (Spain)
"Germany's worst referee unfairly sent Pepe off and killed the semifinals."
El Pais (Spain)
"Pepe tackled Alves on the right leg. The red card could have been yellow, but referee Wolfgang Stark sent the Madridista off."
Television images show that Pepe did not touch Alves' leg
The play that changed the course of what was an evenly-fought match was not worthy of a red card
Much has been said and written concerning Pepe’s send-off against Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal, but an image speaks louder than words and video from Realmadrid TV clearly shows the player only touched the ball. Thirty minutes remained in the match and the referee sent Pepe off with a direct red card following a lose ball dispute between Alves and Pepe. The rest of the play has been publically scrutinized far and wide. Alves, who obviously appears to be in pain, abandons the pitch on a stretcher. After consulting with one of his assistants, German referee Wolfgang Stark shows Pepe the red card one minute after the play took place. Once he saw the decision made by the referee, Alves made his way back onto the pitch in full stride.
It wasn’t the only controversial play of the match, however. Arbeloa and Pedro were involved in another incident. Thirty-nine m...