Former referee explains why Pulisic wasn’t given penalty despite heavy challenge

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan came away with all three points from their clash against Udinese on Saturday evening, coming back from 2-1 behind to win 3-2. When the score was still 0-0, though, there was a controversial penalty decision involving Christian Pulisic. 

In the 27th minute, Pulisic received the ball in the box and although his first touch wasn’t brilliant, he then managed to head it. The Udinese striker Lorenzo Lucca tried to reach the ball as well but as Pulisic got touch, the Italian ended up taking out the American with his elbow.

Milan imminently made their thoughts known and it almost looked like Pulisic had been knocked out for a second. However, he got to his feet rather quickly and the referee waved play on. The former referee Luca Marelli, speaking on live DAZN (via MilanNews), shared his thoughts on the decision.

“There was a clash, Lucca arrived very late compared to Pulisic. Very risky, but it’s one of those incidents that are evaluated on the pitch [by the referee] and rightly so,” he stated.

Milan took the lead just four minutes later through Ruben Lofus-Cheek. In the grand scheme of things, therefore, the decision didn’t matter that much. Had Fabio Maresca pointed to the spot, though, VAR most likely wouldn’t have intervened.

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Tags AC Milan Christian Pulisic Udinese


  1. It wasn’t a penalty as Leao was way offside when receiving the ball out wide before he put in the cross.
    Very straight forward, i don’t know what the debate is about

      1. That one was worse as the defender pushed Pulisic in the back with both hands to prevent him from converting the cross. But you’re right that it was moot because of the offsides.

  2. Can he explain why the match wasn’t suspended and Udinese made to forfeit. I guarantee you that as soon as one racist bastard costs his team points, they all will stop. FIGC are the biggest cowards in Italia!

    1. Apparently you can ran into the opponent with your high elbow to his face and it’s not a foul. Interesting… Very interesting. Let’s see how that goes when Milan-defenders start using that same tactic.

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