German ref Herbert Fandel has hit back at Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster over his criticism of the way he handled this week's match in Rome.

Real left Italy after a 2-1 defeat to Roma with Schuster slamming the performance of Fandel, claiming that he also struggled in Bundesliga games.

"He performed poorly," said Schuster, "the worse thing is that he is a compatriot of mine."

However, Fandel took the unusual step of hitting back at his countryman yesterday, telling Bild: "The comments made by Mr Schuster speak for itself. By making such comments, he himself comes off poorly.

"Almost all his team thanked us (the match officials) for our good work."