Much of the fallout from the clash at Stamford Bridge has centred on the decisions to not show Kai Havertz a red card for an elbow on Dan Burn or to award Newcastle an early second-half penalty for Trevoh Chalobah’s foul on Jacob Murphy - and former referee Dermot Gallagher has provided his view on the two incidents:
The decision to show Havertz a yellow card was the correct one - according to Gallagher.
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“I agree [with the referee’s decision] for a number of reasons,” the former referee told Sky Sports Ref Watch. “If you look at it, both players have their arms up - Burn has his up as well.
“They’re challenging for the ball and so there is inevitably going to be a collision - there’s no doubt about that.“The key for me is, when I was being taught as a referee, when a player throws an elbow in malice, they’re going to clench their fist to force impact.
“If you look at Havertz, he never clenches his fist and it’s almost a flailing arm that catches him. I think it’s a yellow card.”
Whilst Gallagher doesn’t believe that eventual match-winner Havertz should have seen a red card for his challenge on Burn, he does admit that Newcastle should have been awarded a penalty:
“[It’s a] penalty. He grabs his shirt, he trips him and shoves him.” Gallagher said.
“[The VAR’s] feeling was that they didn’t feel that the fall was commensurate with what happened on the field, but that’s probably because they looked at what happened with the upper body, rather than the lower body.
“The referee gives a corner, Chalobah doesn’t play the ball so it should have been a goal kick or a penalty. What the referee is saying is ‘I’ve given a corner so I’m telling everybody that I think Chalobah has played the ball’.
“So therefore, the VAR could have said to the referee ‘he didn't play the ball so you might want to go have a look at this’ and if he did go and have a watch and seen what we have seen then he would have given a penalty.”