Kai Havertz gives Reece James verdict after controversial red card for Chelsea at Liverpool

Versatile Chelsea forward Kai Havertz says Anthony Taylor’s choice to send off teammate Reece James was the incorrect decision as the Blues battled to a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

Havertz was one of the main victims of the referee’s controversial decision to dismiss Chelsea’s wing-back right before half-time as Thomas Tuchel had to take him off in order to change formation and adapt for the second half.

That was despite the German starlet opening his account for the season with a lovely looping header in the first half to give the Champions League winners a lead at Anfield against the run of play.

Havertz has started to form a real connection already with Blues’ new club-record signing Romelu Lukaku, as Tuchel has demanded a more clinical edge from his attackers this season following Jorginho’s finish as the club’s top scorer in the Premier League last time out with seven goals.

Since the German’s historic winner in the Champions League final back in May, he is really starting to find his feet after a mostly indifferent first season in west London, which was overshadowed by personal Covid-19 issues.

All of Chelsea’s players on the day against Liverpool were clearly furious with Taylor’s decision to send off James, and the 22-year-old gave his verdict on the incident that occurred right on the stroke of half-time in Merseyside.

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He told Chelsea’s official social media: “With the red card it’s hard to say because I didn’t see the replay but for me, I think it is a penalty but it shouldn’t be a red card.

“When you get the penalty, a goal and a red card with another 45 minutes to play, it’s very difficult and for me I don’t think it should have been a red card for Reece because it hit his knee first.

“It all happens so quickly, so it’s very difficult to make a decision but this is what happened and we showed what we are all about to fight until the end and come away with a draw even with one player less.”

Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta also disagreed with the outcome of Taylor’s decision, with the 42-year-old viewing the VAR screen for less than 10 seconds.

“First of all, naturally he goes with the arm,” Azpilicueta said. “The referee gets the information from the VAR, he saw one image and it was enough for him to give a penalty and a red card.

“For our defensive players, Liverpool brought two attacking players on.

Cesar Azpilicueta after Chelsea's draw with Liverpool
Cesar Azpilicueta after Chelsea’s draw with Liverpool

“We had to cope with this and I think we did it well. I spoke to the referee and they can explain the situation. The referee is there to make the decision. I feel sorry for Reece [James] but we had to fight as a team.

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“The handball rule, we had a meeting, it’s difficult. For this situation, the ball is on the line and the ball touches his leg before hitting his hand.

“It’s a bit far from his body but we cannot run with our arms glued to our body. Of course, as a defender it is tricky.”

More importantly than the incident was the result itself, and Havertz praised the team spirit as the factor that helped Tuchel’s side get over the line in the match between the two teams hoping to prove themselves as title contenders.

“We had a lot of spirit in our team and we showed a lot of character,” the young forward explained. “I think we will learn a lot from that game, it was a hard game and both teams had a lot of quality.

“I think the last few games have shown what we are all about and coming to a place like Liverpool and leaving with a draw is not a bad result, especially in the circumstances.”

Havertz, like many of his fellow Chelsea teammates, will be on International duty with their respective countries, before Chelsea’s next clash against Aston Villa in two weeks’ time.

Source by Football London

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