Chelsea News

Chelsea warned they face FA charge as ref hits back over Reece James red card

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Chelsea have been told to expect an FA charge following their reaction to Liverpool’s penalty award at Anfield, writes the Mirror.

The Blues battled to a 1-1 draw on Merseyside after playing the second-half a man down.

The clash changed when the hosts were given a penalty and Reece James was sent-off by Anthony Taylor in first-half stoppage time.

Chelsea players surrounded the referee as they took issue with his decision, which was made after consultation with VAR.

Former top flight official Mark Halsey claims Taylor’s call was absolutely correct and pointed out the nature of the Blues protest, which could have ramifications.

“Liverpool ’s penalty with the resulting red card to Chelsea defender Reece James was spot on,” Halsey told The Sun.

“Some may think Anthony Taylor’s decision was controversial but the officials were correct in their application of Law 12: Handling the Ball.

“Sadio Mane’s goal-bound effort brushed the top of James’ thigh before it struck the right arm of the England full-back.

“But there was a deliberate movement of James’ arm to push the ball away and that meant it had to be a penalty. Once the penalty was given, Taylor also had to produce a red card.

“I also believe the FA will charge Chelsea for failing to control their players in the aftermath.”

Mohamed Salah slotted home from 12 yards to level the contest, but neither side could find a winning goal.

Chelsea will be happier with a point, which maintains their unbeaten start after three games.

Nevertheless Thomas Tuchel was left questioning Taylor’s decision to dismiss James.

“I can understand the decision and I’m not saying it’s wrong,” said the German.

“But I did not like the way the referee checked it because for me he checked only the image and the image showed the contact.

“We saw on the bench that it was a deflection from a short distance that came off his hip and the arm was not in a super unnatural position. I would have wished for a longer consultation – maybe he would have made the same decision. But we have to live with it.”

Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta added: “We had to fight. When you are one man down for the whole second half, it is really tough but it was a challenge for us.

“Everybody had the ambition to go even for a win and we actually had the best two chances in the second half even though they had a lot of possession.

“The team spirit was brilliant from everybody, we fought together and we got the least reward of a point.”

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