Jamie Carragher strongly criticized the decision to award Manchester City a penalty against Chelsea, stating that “it is not right.” The reigning Premier League champions received a spot-kick in the first half when Erling Haaland was brought down by Marc Cucurella. The decision left Stamford Bridge spectators puzzled due to the unclear nature of the initial incident.
VAR reviewed the situation, examining a potential foul by the Norwegian striker on the Chelsea player before the takedown, sparking a potential debate. Despite the scrutiny, the original decision was upheld, prompting former Liverpool defender Carragher to question the officiating team.
Expressing his disapproval on Sky Sports, Carragher stated, “This is not right. I think that’s harsh for me because it looks like half of one, half a dozen on the other between Haaland and Cucurella.” He emphasized that VAR focused solely on the end of the tussle and didn’t consider the start of the altercation, which involved Haaland grabbing Cucurella’s shirt.
Carragher’s critique emerges during a challenging period for referees and VAR in the Premier League, with recent controversial decisions fueling criticism from managers like Mikel Arteta.
Despite the contentious penalty decision, Haaland successfully converted, scoring his 12th Premier League goal of the season. However, City soon found themselves trailing before halftime, with Thiago Silva equalizing from a corner, followed by Raheem Sterling putting Chelsea in the lead.
While Carragher believed the referee favored City and Haaland, the match unfolded dramatically, with Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez denying Haaland’s attempt and City leveling the score before halftime through a brilliant header from Manuel Akanji.