Piers Morgan has claimed Lionel Messi must have been sent off as Argentina battled past Netherlands on penalties to achieve the World Cup semi-finals. The Copa America winners needed to do it the hard way after surrendering a 2-0 lead as Dutch super sub Wout Weghorst scored two late goals to force Louis van Gaal’s side level.
Virgil van Dijk decks Argentina star Leandro Parades as Netherlands bench invades pitch
But after 120 minutes of gruelling motion it was Argentina who arrange a semi-final clash with Croatia after winning 4-3 on penalties.
Messi provided a surprising assist for Nahuel Molina’s opener before converting from the penalty spot to double Argentina’s advantage.
He was then readily available to cooly slot home Argentina’s first penalty of the shootout to encourage his team-mates to victory.
Still, that wasn’t enough for Cristiano Ronaldo’s friend Morgan, who felt as if the veteran shouldn’t have even been on the sphere of play.
READ MORE: Virgil van Dijk decks Argentina star Leandro Parades as Netherlands bench invades pitch
Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz wasn’t shy to achieve for his pocket having handed out 15 yellow cards including one for Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.
Lahoz was slated by Messi after the match because the Argentine hero told the media: “I don’t wish to talk concerning the referee because they sanction you for being honest. I feel people saw what it was. FIFA cannot use this sort of referee for the sort of match.”
The Argentina captain was also involved in a hairy moment within the mixed zone when he appeared to call out a Dutch player at first of his interview.
Heroic goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez didn’t hold back during his post-match interview, claiming the referee was against Argentina: “We went 2-0 up and we controlled the sport before the ref was giving every thing for them.
“Hastily they get a very good header after which it turns the wrong way up. The ref was giving every thing for them, he gave 10 minutes for no reason. He was giving free-kicks outside the box, he just wanted them to attain. Hopefully we haven’t got that ref anymore, he’s useless.”
“I heard Louis van Gaal saying ‘we have got a bonus in penalties, if we go to penalties we win’ I feel he needs to maintain his mouth shut.”
Van Gaal has already revealed that Martinez told him he “talks an excessive amount of” after the sport during a temporary conversation that was held in Spanish.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Martinez was also spotted shirtless swearing on the Holland bench after saving two spot-kicks, yelling: “I f*** you twice!”