Legendary Premier League referee gives verdict on Chelsea’s penalty claim

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The incident between Cesar Azpilicueta and Harry Maguire has generated lots of comments, with everyone connected to football airing their thoughts.

Maguire grabbed Azpilicueta by the neck in the penalty box, but the on field referee Martin Atkinson, failed to notice the infringement. Interestingly, VAR official, Stuart Attwell, didn’t deem it right to call the attention of the centre referee as well, and it has sparked outrage from lovers of the game.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher also admitted after the game that it was a penalty.

“I think it’s solely because the ball is in play and he cleared it too quickly,” Gallagher told Premier League productions. “I think he looked at it, cleared it very quickly and didn’t scrutinise it.

“I think when you look at it in depth, as we have, there’s no doubt whatsoever if Martin Atkinson is sent to the monitor I think he’d make a different decision.

“What I would say, even if he sticks with the on-field decision, it would be readily accepted more. ‘It does raise a good talking point in so much as the one at half time with Rashford was looked at a few times. When the ball is dead, as the Rashford one was and I don’t think was a penalty at all, it’s much easier to look at over and over again.

“This one because it was looked at in play, it’s almost as if you’ve got to make a decision instantly.

“He’s under no pressure but when the ball is in play I feel VAR feel they’ve got to make a decision a little bit quicker.

“And he did, he looked at it quickly and cleared it quickly. If they’d scrutinise it, and looked at it like we did, if he had said to Martin Atkinson, ‘I think it’s 50-50, you need to have a look’. Martin’s view is a lot more difficult, but the other side, if he had seen it, he would have come to a different decision.”

Gallagher was a top ref in the Premier League between 1992 and 2007.

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.