Didi Hamann feels Borussia Dortmund were ‘cheated’ out (Pictures: Getty)
Didi Hamann has named the favourite to win the Champions League and says Borussia Dortmund were ‘cheated’ out of the competition during their last-16 defeat to Chelsea.
Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Benfica and AC Milan became the first four teams to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals, with the remaining spots to be decided next week when the rest of the last-16 ties play their second legs.
Premier League champions Manchester City face RB Leipzig with the tie evenly-poised at 1-1, while Inter Milan will look to consolidate a 1-0 lead over Porto.
Liverpool travel to Real Madrid faced with the task of overturning a 5-2 deficit and Serie A champions-elect Napoli are 2-0 up against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Real Madrid are bidding to win back-to-back Champions Leagues while Man City are searching for their maiden title, but Hamann believes both teams will suffer disappointment in Europe.
‘For me, Bayern are one of the favourites for the title, if not the top favourite,’ he told Sky Germany. If you want to win the Champions League this year, you will have to beat Bayern Munich.
‘You can hardly play better than Bayern did against Paris Saint-Germain. The way Bayern defended at the back and controlled the game overall was really good.’
Bayern Munich knocked PSG out of the Champions League (Picture: Getty)
Hamann, who helped Liverpool win the Champions League in 2005, feels Borussia Dortmund were ‘cheated’ out of the tournament as they lost 2-1 on aggregate to Chelsea.
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Dortmund travelled to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night with a 1-0 lead but goals from Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz sent Chelsea through and eased the pressure on Graham Potter.
The goal that settled the tie came in contentious fashion as Chelsea were awarded a controversial penalty after Ben Chilwell’s cross struck Marius Wolf’s hand.
The referee initially dismissed Chelsea’s appeals but overturned the decision after being advised to check the monitor by VAR, leaving the Dortmund players furious.
Havertz initially struck the post with his penalty but the referee ordered a re-take after multiple Dortmund players encroached into the box, with the Germany international scoring at the second attempt.
‘As far as Dortmund’s exit is concerned, I have to say it clearly: they were cheated,’ Hamann said.
‘Whether Dortmund would have progressed against Chelsea without the repeated penalty is anyone’s guess. But it was never a penalty and VAR shouldn’t have intervened as the referee was five yards wide.
‘VAR shouldn’t have sent out the referee to the monitor and he shouldn’t have changed his mind. It wasn’t a penalty. And the VAR should not have ordered the retake of the penalty.
‘I don’t want to delve too deeply into sports jurisdiction, but my question would be why is there no way to protest when there is a clear violation of the rules?
Chelsea were awarded a controversial penalty against Dortmund (Picture: Getty)
‘Maybe someone should do it. Borussia Dortmund were cheated. End of. They were denied a huge chance to reach the quarter-finals. Who knows when this opportunity will come up again?’
Hamann also dismissed PSG’s chances of winning the Champions League any time soon after their exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Paris Saint-Germain have won eight Ligue 1 titles since 2013 but continue to struggle in Europe, with Hamann suspecting the club’s wealthy owners will soon lose patience.
‘I’m sure they won’t win the Champions League in the coming years,’ the former Germany midfielder added. ‘If you want too much too quickly, it usually goes wrong.
PSG crashed out of the Champions League yet again (Picture: Getty)
‘The solid foundation is missing. You cannot buy identity and identification. Bayern have developed that over the years.
‘However, if you bring players from all over the world, there is a risk that they will only come for the money.
‘If you want to build something solid, it takes seven, eight years. I seriously question whether the owners of PSG have the patience for this.
‘That’s why I believe that in three to five years PSG will be a club like any other in France or in Europe.’
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