Cesar Azpilicueta insists Sadio Mane’s elbow on him was a ‘clear red’ and slammed Premier League officials for their lack of consistency.
The Chelsea captain was floored just six seconds into Sunday’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Referee Anthony Taylor showed the Liverpool forward a yellow card after a VAR review, with former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink adamant Mane ‘knew what he was doing.’
Reacting to the incident post-match, Azpilicueta told Sky Sports: ‘It’s a clear red, I don’t mind if it’s five seconds into the game and the first actions, it’s a clear red.
‘He doesn’t want to challenge, he doesn’t want to see the ball, he just wants to hit with the elbow. Honestly I don’t understand it.
‘The other day we had two penalties where VAR didn’t come, today the first action is a clear red card.
‘Of course We are getting these decisions against us that of course could change the way of the game.’
Controversial VAR decisions were also a major talking point in Manchester City’s win over Arsenal on Saturday afternoon with Azpilicueta accusing officials of awarding ‘joke’ penalties and allowing ‘really dangerous’ actions to go unpunished.
‘I can understand we are promoting 50/50 challenges in the Premier League, but sometimes we have seen joke penalties and sometimes, we see real dangerous actions and we don’t take action.
‘We saw for a few weeks, for a few games where referees become a bit softer in terms of red cards.
‘Then it becomes the opposite – I don’t know what happens. We don’t have consistency even in the same game or through the season. It is disappointing.’
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