Referee Oliver and wife Lucy offered police support after social media abuse

Max Allegri responds to Chelsea and Arsenal links

But then Oliver penalised Medhi Benatia for bundling Lucas Vazquez over from behind in the area and subsequently sent off Gianluigi Buffon for his reaction, which involved him putting his hands on the referee.

The couple have been targeted in the wake of last Wednesday night's Champions League quarter-final, second-leg clash between Real Madrid and Juventus, during which Northumberland match official Oliver awarded a disputed injury-time penalty from which the Spaniards won the tie.

Buffon later told the media that the English official had a "bag of rubbish for a heart" and the 40-year-old defended his actions on Italian television on Saturday.

"You can even go too far, sometimes getting it wrong". I am in harmony with the club, I go on vacation when the transfer window opens because I trust the club completely.

"Douglas Costa was meant to come on". It was a week that allowed me to experience strong emotions, beautiful, pure adrenaline. I don't know if it was correct or not, I don't care, but Buffon was also sent off and therefore denied the opportunity to save the Cristiano Ronaldo penalty.

"For over 20 years, Gianluigi Buffon has been a role model both on and off the pitch", Allegri said on Saturday.

"He's a boy who will have a great career, he's just had some bad luck here".


The 50-year-old is one of the most highly rated coaches in Europe and is on the verge of guiding his side to their seventh straight Serie A league title.

They nearly won it late on when Arkadiusz Milik's close-range shot was brilliantly saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, making his 100th Serie A appearance at the age of 19.

"But at certain levels, you have to be careful about what you say".

"If it happened in Italy?"

Sport understands Lucy Oliver - a Women's Super League referee who also officiates men's non-league football - received threatening texts after her mobile number was posted on social media following the game.

Police have offered support to referee Michael Oliver and his wife Lucy and warned social media trolls they could be committing a criminal offence by abusing them.

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