Furious Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta shows off BLACK EYE as he calls Sadio Mane elbow a 'clear red' in 2-2 thriller

Furious Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta shows off BLACK EYE as he calls Sadio Mane elbow a 'clear red' in 2-2 thriller

CESAR AZPILICUETA blasted Premier League refereeing after Sadio Mane's elbow just six seconds into the draw with Liverpool appeared to leave him with a BLACK EYE.

Azpilicueta, 32, sported bruising around his right eye after the thrilling 2-2 draw, claiming that it was a 'clear' red card for Mane.


The incident came straight from kick-off, when a lofted pass came the way of Azpilicueta and Mane.

The Liverpool striker lead with his forearm and caught the Blue's captain in the eye.

Mane received just a yellow for the foul leaving the Spanish international to call out the officiating post-game.

It was the fastest booking in the Premier League since the start of the 2006-07 campaign.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Azpilicueta stated: "I don't mind if it is five seconds into the game, it is a red.

"I don't understand, we have had these kind of decisions the other day.

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"It is a clear red card.

"We are getting these decisions against us and it can change the way of the game.

"I watched the replay but I didn't need this because live I knew it was a red.

"Sometimes we see real dangerous actions and we don't take action."

MARK HALSEY’S VIEW

SADIO MANE was lucky not to see red after just six seconds against Chelsea.

Referee Anthony Taylor made a subjective decision when Mane caught Cesar Azpilicueta in the face.

On another day the Liverpool forward could have been sent off at Stamford Bridge.

Mane led with his forearm before he flattened Azpilicueta.

Taylor felt it was worthy of a yellow card and VAR official Darren England decided it was not a clear and obvious error.

The on-field official deemed it was a reckless use of the arm by Mane rather than serious foul play.

However, had Taylor issued a red card then it would not have been overturned by VAR.

The time of the incident should not come into the decision-making of a referee – whether that is in the first or last minute of a game. 

Taylor must have had a doubt in his mind not to show the red card.

Former Prem ref Mark Halsey told SunSport Mane was 'lucky not to see red' and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was also unimpressed with the yellow card.

He said: "I am not a friend of early red cards… I hate to say it because I love Mane and he is a nice guy and top player, but it is a red card.

"The elbow is in the face – it doesn't matter if you do this after 20 seconds or 20 minutes."

Senegal international Mane scored the opening goal after a Trevoh Chalobah error to rub salt into Chelsea's wounds.

The AFCON-bound forward latched onto the defender's mistake and coolly rounded international team-mate Edouard Mendy to slotted the ball into an empty net.

Mo Salah then scored his 150th goal in English football with a delightful chip over Mendy to put the Merseyside club two goals up and stun the hosts.

Chelsea fought back to level terms through two stunning goals from Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic.

Both sides held on for a draw – which leaves Man City TEN points clear at the top.

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