Former Premier League referee Graham Poll believes Viktor Kassai made a number of errors in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and insists the official was affected by the pressure of the occasion.

Bayern progressed to a final against Chelsea after beating Madrid in a penalty shoot-out following an entertaining semi-final.

Victor Kassai
copyright: REUTERS

Madrid took the lead after six minutes when Ronaldo slotted home a penalty following a controversial hand-ball decision. Kassai ruled that David Alaba had handled Angel di Maria's cross in the box and Poll has questioned the referee's judgment, saying he could have been influenced by the Bernabeu crowd.

"Viktor Kassai is a good referee but the pressure of a big game can affect anyone," Poll told the Daily Mail.

"[The] pressure seemed to affect the Hungarian on Wednesday night as he awarded Madrid a crazy penalty in the sixth minute when a shot hit David Alaba from close range.

"Handball must be deliberate, this was not. To compound his error, Kassai showed Alaba a yellow card, meaning he would miss the final."

Despite trailing by two goals, Bayern were never out of contention and the German side were rewarded for their attacking display with a goal mid-way through the first half. Leading 2-1 from the first-leg, Bayern levelled the tie on aggregate when Mario Gomez was fouled in the box under a challenge from Pepe and Arjen Robben dispatched the penalty with aplomb.

Nevertheless, Poll remains adamant that Bayern's penalty was a soft foul to concede and believes that Kassai felt the need to "try and make amends" for his earlier error.

"That appeared to be the case on first viewing of Bayern's penalty award when Mario Gomez threw himself to the ground after a touch from Pepe," said Poll.

"On Tuesday, the assistants helped Cuneyt Cakir impress in Barcelona. Kassai never gave his assistants the chance to help and so made two poor calls."