Five yellow cards were shown by referee Kevin Friend in the opening 45 minutes between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. It is the most in the first half of a single Premier League game this season.
The referee got some big decisions wrong in the game and these are calls that could have changed the game.
Friend’s big decision of the game came after Yerry Mina’s heavy tackle on Eden Hazard. Hazard looked in serious pain after the heavy challenge from Mina and only a yellow card was given.
That was a poor decision as Mina should have been sent off.
Before the game against Everton, Hazard called for more protection from referees and Friend wasn’t ready to offer that with his decision to show a yellow card to Mina instead of a red.
Showing Mina a red card would have shown the other players on the pitch that the referee was brave to make big decisions.
Jorginho also found himself booked for a poor challenge on Gylfi Sigurdsson and this should have been a red also but with the referee failing to be brave earlier, he had to show Jorginho a yellow card.
But would Jorginho really have made that tackle if Mina had been shown a red earlier? I don’t think so as Everton would have been pushed to the wall fighting for their lives and the other players would have been reasonable with their tackles.
With the referee not sending Mina off for the tackle on Hazard, other players were now willing to go hard with their tackles.
Friend also booked Antonio Rudiger and Bernand after an incident between the two players the referee did not appear to see.
Bernand tried to headbutt Rudiger and that is always a red anytime, any day. The decision to book Bernand and Rudiger looked strange as Bernand deserved a red.
Chelsea should have gotten a penalty in the second half for Mina’s challenge on Alvaro Morata.
The referee’s poor performance obviously frustrated the players, leading to an ill-tempered match.