Chelsea defeated Fulham 1-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to Cole Palmer’s first-half penalty.
The Blues were lucky not to lose Malo Gusto to a red card after 38 minutes for catching Willian with his studs, with a VAR check confirming the on-field judgement of only a yellow card.
Premier League, LALIGA, WSL, and other competitions. Optus Sport is home to the best football in the globe. Register here.
It was a potentially defining moment in the game as Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling won a penalty in first-half injury time, which Palmer converted.
Fulham boss Marco Silva was sure that Gusto should have been sent off as his team’s league play remained poor.
“With regard to the decision, VAR made a blatant error. “In my opinion, and in discussions with the fourth official, it is a clear red card,” Silva stated.
“It’s hard for Anthony Taylor to see that it’s a red card.” He decided it was a yellow card, and we have to be fair to the referee because the moment is so rapid for him to see if the tackle is harmful, by Malo Gusto, but VAR must come later.
“In the Premier League, nine times out of ten, it’s a red card.” It wasn’t a red card this afternoon. The VAR made a mistake by not sending Anthony Taylor to the monitor.”
Notably, Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino appeared to admit his team got lucky and understood why Silva was upset.
“Yellow card because it’s yellow.” “I complained about Gusto’s red card at Aston Villa,” Pochettino stated.
“I understand (Silva’s) anguish. I have a terrific rapport with him. If I were in his shoes, I’d call it a red card.
“There are instances when you and the referee disagree. They mistook the motion for a yellow, which is good for us.”
Premier League great Alan Shearer said on Optus Sport’s Matchday Live Extra that red cards had been handed for less this season.
“I believe he is extremely fortunate. “We’ve seen red cards for less,” added Shearer.
“It was above the ankle, in the shin, he was very fortunate not to get a red card.”
While Fulham was left to rue a crucial decision, Chelsea won their third straight league game to climb up to eighth place.
Pochettino alluded to a pre-match issue that hampered his team’s start, but he felt they finished strongly.
“The first half was not the first half we desired or planned.” “Something happened before the game that affected the team a little bit,” Pochettino explained.
“We started really well in the second half, played really well football for 30 minutes, and we should score another goal and win the game.” But when the game is open and you don’t kill it, we conceded a few set pieces, a wide free-kick and a corner, both of which have good potential.
“We defended well, and it was beneficial for us to suffer a little at the end.” This type of game will help us grow and gain confidence in how we work.
“It was encouraging to see this young team defend the final 15 minutes the way we did.” We were fighting and doing everything we could to maintain the result.”