By 90Min
November 11, 2017

Leonardo Bonucci was fuming with anger after Italy's 1-0 defeat against Sweden in the first leg of the World Cup Qualifiers play-offs. 

His team saw their chances to reach the 2018 Russia World Cup compromised following Jakob Johansson's deflected goal in the second half and need a win on Monday at the San Siro.  

However, even more painful than being defeated must have been playing with a broken nose for the whole match, and seeing the man responsible for it get away with it without any punishment. 

Claudio Villa/GettyImages

In the opening minutes of the match, in fact, a clash between the AC Milan centre-back and Ola Toivonen left the former convulsing on the ground, hit on the nose by the Swede's elbow. 

Bonucci eventually continued to play despite the fracture, but vehemently contested the Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir's decision not to book nor send off Toivonen.  

He told Sky Sport Italia (via Goal): “He broke my nose after 30 seconds and should’ve been sent off. There’s not much you can say other than that.

"A referee with greater character would’ve sent off at least one of the Swedish players."

He continued: “We knew Sweden would play the long ball and flick it on, so they created very little, but we should’ve been quicker when moving the ball around.

“We have to believe in what we’re doing to the last moment of the second leg at San Siro on Monday."

Bonucci was not the only one to criticise Cakir's behaviour on Friday night, as Italy manager Gian Piero Ventura had his say on him too: "I hope that on Monday the referee will concede us what he conceded Sweden in the first leg," he told cameras. 

"A little more attention is necessary at these levels. The ref did not meet the expectations."

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