Ref Watch: Should Jack Wilshere have been sent off? Did Hector Bellerin foul Eden Hazard?
Last Updated: 04/01/18 11:27am
Arsenal and Chelsea drew a thrilling Premier League London derby 2-2 on Wednesday night - but the result could have been different had a couple of key decisions been seen differently by referee Anthony Taylor.
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Hector Bellerin rescued a point for Arsenal, crashing in a 93rd-minute equaliser after Eden Hazard scored from the spot and Marcos Alonso tucked in from close range to cancel out Jack Wilshere's opener.
But did Bellerin actually foul Hazard for Chelsea's penalty? And should Wilshere have been shown a second yellow card for a second-half dive prior to his goal?
Video Assistant Referees will be available for next week's Carabao Cup semi-final between these two teams - live on Sky Sports Football - but with technology unavailable to referee Taylor on this occasion, we see what the pundits made of those important incidents and get the view of former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher…
Should Wilshere have been sent off?
Jack Wilshere is booked in the first half for a late challenge on Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas. He then goes to ground in the second half as Blues defender Andreas Christensen lunges towards him. Replays show Christensen did not connect with Wilshere until he was already falling down.
The pundit view:
Jamie Carragher: "He should have been sent off. He's got his yellow card in the first half, and rightly so. But the one in the second half is for something completely different, in terms of going down too easy. I think he's very fortunate that the referee's view may be just blocked by Cesc Fabregas and N'Golo Kante.
Wilshere is very fortunate that the referee's view may be just blocked by Cesc Fabregas and N'Golo Kante.
"The referee, in some ways, doesn't really know what's happened, so just lets the play go on because he hasn't seen the foul, he hasn't seen the dive, he sees the reaction of players and thinks 'I can't give a decision if I haven't seen it'. Can he get help from his assistant? If he hasn't seen anything, how can he blow his whistle and give something?"
Dermot Gallagher says:
"It's a tough, tough decision. When Wilshere goes in, it's difficult for the referee to tell who makes the initial contact, Christensen or Wilshere. Not only does Kante come across [the referee's] body, Fabregas does as well.
"The referee is in a position there where if he gambles and gambles wrongly he's got a red card. It's not possible to send somebody off for something you didn't see. There is no way the referee can see that situation clearly enough to make a decision to send the player off. He's waved it away and play has gone on. I think that's exactly the right decision for that situation."
Did Bellerin foul Hazard for the penalty?
Hector Bellerin attempts to clear a loose ball in the Arsenal box but at the same time Eden Hazard attempts to control it. Hazard gets to the ball first and Bellerin kicks Hazard's foot.
The pundit view:
Thierry Henry: "As a striker, I would have called for a penalty. Yes, I think it's a penalty. He doesn't get the ball. Bellerin said it himself, he hits his foot. I thought it was a penalty at the time. If you're on the Arsenal side, you're like 'that's a bit harsh', but he doesn't touch the ball and he connects with him, so it's a penalty."
Dermot Gallagher says:
"I think there is [enough contact for a penalty]. When you see the incident, the clue is the ball: Bellerin doesn't get the ball, and once you don't get the ball in that situation, he's caught Hazard on the inside of the boot and therefore he's duty bound to give a penalty.
If a player makes a tackle and he gets the man and not the ball, the referee has got every right to give the penalty.
"Does Hazard exaggerate? I don't think he has time. Bellerin's caught the inside of his boot, Hazard's only got one leg on the ground, his other is in the air, and he's trying to keep his balance and the minute he's done that he's going to go over, there's no doubt about it. But the key is Bellerin didn't get the ball.
"It's so subjective, that's the problem. Every decision is subjective to the referee. In that situation, Bellerin has not got the ball. If a player makes a tackle and he gets the man and not the ball, the referee has got every right to give the penalty."