Pepe should have kept his cool even after Muller over-reacted, says Baichung

Aditi Tyagi

The much-anticipated match between Portugal and Germany was marred with an incident where Pepe was shown a red card by the referee for his head-butt. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia analysed the game and also shared his thoughts on the much-talked about incident.

Excerpts from the conversation:

What you have to say on the match between Germany and Portugal?

It was an exciting match for Germany. But at the same time a one-sided match, which Cristiano Ronaldo would like to forget as soon as possible.

How costly was the head-butt for the Portugal side?

It was very costly. I guess now, Portugal have to play without Pepe for the next two matches. At the point he was shown the red card, Portugal were already two goals down. It was a childish mistake by him. And due to his mistake, Portugal had to pay a heavy price for it. More importantly, Pepe`s exclusion from the forthcoming matches would be a major set-back for Portugal, who is in the `Group of Death`.

Do you think Pepe is solely responsible for his Red Card?

Pepe has a poor track record when it comes to receiving red cards. Even while playing for Real Madrid, he received red cards. I think the first mistake did was by dribbling the ball with opponent`s forward. As a defender, he should have cleared the ball or could have passed it to some other defender. Though, Muller over-reacted after receiving the elbow from Pepe. But in the heat of the moment, Pepe failed to keep his cool. His temperament wasn’t right. In football, you have to keep yourself cool to win matches, no matter what the situation you are in.

Do you think the head-butt incident also left a poor impact on Cristiano Ronaldo?

Definitely. While playing against Germany, when you are already 2-0 down, playing with 10 men is really difficult. In fact, Portugal were struggling when they were playing with 11 men. Position wise, Germany are quite strong. And with 10 men, Portugal were just chasing the ball. Ronaldo-led side got a couple of chances to score, which they couldn`t convert. But yes, they were unlucky to get a sure short penalty, which referee overlooked. But even if they got it, they wouldn`t have been able to make a comeback in the match.

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