Oliver was right to award Real Madrid a last-gasp penalty and send Gianluigi Buffon off – Graham Poll

“Michael Oliver, only promoted to the elite group of officials in January, justified the decision with some very strong but correct refereeing in the Bernabeu.

“With scores level in a gripping quarter final heading for extra time, Oliver was courageous enough to award a penalty which, once converted, took Real Madrid through to the semi-final.

“He didn’t stop there. Surrounded and disgracefully harassed by half a dozen or so menacing Juventus players, led by their talismanic captain, Oliver – 33 – stayed calm and correctly dismissed Gianluigi Buffon for his aggressive protests.

“Arsene Wenger once told me I was talking rubbish when I said a referee needed courage to give big decisions. I imagine after watching this he will understand.

“What a pity the FA didn’t promote Oliver sooner so he could have been eligible for the World Cup.”