'It was handball but I won't give it' – Reus hits out at referee for 'circus' handball decision in Dortmund win

The BVB captain claims the referee admitted to him he saw a handball but still refused to award a penalty

Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus has questioned the referee’s decision not to award a first-half penalty in his side’s 4-0 Bundesliga win over Mainz on Saturday. 

While Reus would eventually open the scoring in the 32nd minute, he was adamant his side should have been awarded a spot-kick in the 15th minute after the ball struck the hand of Mainz defender Jeremiah St. Juste in the box. 

Both the on-field referee and VAR reviewed the incident with Reus stunned when the former informed him he saw that it was a handball but wouldn’t be giving the penalty.

“That’s a penalty. He [the referee] said to me that it had been checked. He said: ‘It was handball but I won’t give it’. I really wondered about that,” Reus revealed post-match. 

“If it’s handball then it’s handball. I don’t know what this circus is about.”

Despite that controversial decision, Dortmund would still manager to cruise to victory with second-half goals from Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulaz wrapping up all three points for Lucien Favre’s side.

The Yellow and Blacks currently sit third in the Bundesliga, four points shy of league leaders RB Leipzig but two points ahead of last season’s champions Bayern Munich. 

Dortmund have now won four straight games in all competitions and next face Leipzig midweek as they look to work their way up the domestic table. 

English teenager Sancho once again starred against Mainz, becoming the first player in Europe’s top five leagues this season to reach double figures for goals and assists. 

The 19-year-old was quick to pay tribute to Dortmund’s entire frontline following the win, stressing that they are all benefiting from one another. 

“The front three – me, Thorgan and Marco – have got a good connection and we work on it on the training pitch,” Sancho told Bundesliga.com.

“We come here like today and we show our skills. We help each other and we score together, so it’s good.”

Julian Brandt adding that the clean sheet also showed the side’s defensive resilience: “It was good for us to show that we can stay solid at the back, even in these hard-fought games, which we’re bound to have more of in the future.”

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