Before the reign of Andre Villas-Boas, referees halted Chelsea’s momentum only once in a while, but this season the theme is beginning to occur more times than Mario Balotelli’s mishaps.
Take the weekend for example when Chelsea played QPR (Quite Poor Really). Firstly, referee Chris Foy awarded a penalty to Rangers after David Luiz touched Heidar Helguson in the back. Although it probably was a penalty, the dive was better than Petr Cech at times. Secondly, Mr Foy branded a straight red card to Jose Bosingwa for “pulling back” Shaun Wright-Phillips when “through on goal.” I’m sorry but SWP still had a lot to do with the onrushing Cech and John Terry covering. Furthermore, to add insult to injury, the ref then pulled out the same coloured card to striker Didier Drogba for a two-footed lunge on Adel Taarabt. I’ve seen plenty of them that have been unpunished in the league and a yellow card would have arguably been fair. Credit where it’s due, QPR did hold on to a famous victory, but with 12 men on the field to Chelsea’s nine; anything is possible. Then at full time, the FA have the cheek to look into Villas-Boas’ comments about the referee after he also neglected two Chelsea claims for a penalty. Cue the fine? Makes sense *sigh*.
And it wasn’t just last weekend that referees have been against the Blues – the home victory against Swansea City also saw a red card for Spaniard Fernando Torres. However, television replays showed that Torres didn’t make contact with Mark Gower even though the aggression was evident.
If you can, cast your mind back to the opening game of the season for Chelsea. Away to Stoke City right? Gotcha. Although, remarkably, no Chelsea player was sent for an early bath, Frank Lampard was waved away a blatant penalty after a tackle by Marc Wilson, whilst two other claims evaded referee Mark Halsey.
So what next for Chelsea? Will Petr Cech be sent off for handball? Will Nicolas Anelka receive a red for wearing a random shirt number? Up to the referees I guess.
By Aaron Aquilina
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