Cardiff manager Neil Warnock criticises officials after 'most obvious offside call ever'
Cesar Azpilicueta equalised for Chelsea from an offside position
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 01/04/19 1:38pm
An irate Neil Warnock lamented poor officiating after his Cardiff side were on the wrong end of decisions during their 2-1 defeat by Chelsea.
Following a goalless first half, Victor Camarasa swept the hosts ahead with a delicious volley straight after the restart - but Chelsea scored twice in the final six minutes through Cesar Azpilicueta and substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The win moves Chelsea to within one point of fourth-placed Manchester United, but Azpilicueta's equaliser was mired in controversy as he looked two yards offside when heading in after Marcos Alonso had flicked on Willian's corner.
"We were let down by the officials - roll on VAR," Warnock told Sky Sports. "I might be too old by the time we get it, but that's why we need it.
"It's the best league in the world with probably the worst officials at the minute. I don't know what Mike Riley does with his linesman, but he'll probably get a game next week. They don't understand what's at stake.
"The offside [for Azpilicueta's goal] is not even close. We've worked three weeks for this, and we get let down by decisions.
"We felt that (Sean) Morrison could've easily had a penalty in the first half and he could quite easily have had one in the second.
"All the hard work over the last three weeks, and it's none of our faults that an official can't look across the line. It's the most obviously offside I've ever seen. You just can't believe it.
"Is it me? Is it payback time for me over the many years? Are they thinking, 'let's get him out of the way?' I honestly don't know."
Cardiff were also furious Antonio Rudiger escaped a red card for dragging down Kenneth Zohore moments later with the striker breaking through on goal.
Rudiger was only shown a yellow card by referee Craig Pawson, but there was worse to come for Cardiff when Loftus-Cheek beat Lee Peltier to Willian's deep cross to head home in the first of four minutes of stoppage time.
The result is particularly painful for a Cardiff side who had looked like ending a run of 16 successive Premier League defeats against sides currently in the top six.
Wins for Burnley and Southampton on Saturday had opened the gap on the Bluebirds in the final relegation place to five points and they are running out of time to stay in the Premier League.
Warnock added: "No major decisions went for us. The linesmen don't realise what's at stake. If I was a Burnley, a Brighton or a Southampton fan, I'd be absolutely loving it today - and you can't blame them really.
"I've had one kick in the teeth after another this season - the players have as well, but we've always bounced back.
"I'll probably play the [Under] 23s on Wednesday at Man City and get ready for Burnley. We've got some good games left, and as you saw today, we're not going to lie down.
"It's like it's not so much who you play but who you've got as the referee and who's going to have a flag in their hand. Nowadays, that's just as important."