Reece James and Thiago Silva have hit out at referee Anthony Taylor and his officials after Chelsea’s 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s well-struck goal in the first half was cancelled out in controversial circumstances by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg midway through the second half.
Kai Havertz appeared to be fouled by Rodrigo Bentancur in the build-up, while Richarlison was offside in front of Edouard Mendy when Hojbjerg shot – although neither of these resulted in the goal being overturned by Taylor and his team.
James put the Blues back in front in the 77th minute, and was hailed as the Sky Sports Man of the Match during additional time at Stamford Bridge – only for Harry Kane’s equaliser to pull Spurs level again after six minutes of stoppage time.
Kane’s dramatic late goal also came about in contentious circumstances, as Taylor and the VAR officials chose not to do anything about Cristian Romero’s hair pull on Marc Cucurella in the moments before that goal.
And speaking to BBC’s Match of the Day 2 after the game, the 22-year-old believed Chelsea should have got more from the match – and might have done if the officiating was different.
‘I think we should have won the game,’ James said. ‘There were two arguable goals for them. I think the referees and the fourth official need to look back on them. It’s frustrating for us when you deserve to win the game.
‘I don’t know what they [the officials] were looking at, but we have to take the positives from the game. We were all over them throughout the game.’
Silva took to Instagram to highlight his issue with the incident between Romero and Cucurella, posting a picture from that moment.
Silva’s accompanying caption, in his native Brazilian Portuguese, was translated by the app to: ‘Haven’t you seen this??? No way. Can you pull hair out?’
The rivalry of the fixture, and the heated moments which turned the result around, resulted in managers Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte both being sent off after the final whistle, having previously been issued with yellow cards for a touchline spat after Hojbjerg’s leveller.
Players and club officials have previously been banned from games, or issued with fines, for questioning the work of referees in the past, so it is likely this argument is going to run for some time.