The match on Sunday at Stamford Bridge saw yet another example of how mistakes made by referees can affect big games. Although Chelsea dominated physically and they won the tactical battle, Liverpool could have taken at least a point from the game if refereeing decisions went in their favor. For the second time in a week, the Anfield faithful will be disappointed, and the officials haven’t done much to help their cause in both the games.
Moments before Liverpool took the lead in the 3rd minute against Chelsea, Samuel Eto’o could have been sent off for a shin high tackle on Jordan Henderson. Instead the referee chose to award only a free kick, and Cameroonian escaped without a booking. After a glorious equalizer by Eden Hazard in the 17th minute, Eto’o himself got on the scoresheet in the 34th minute with a decent finish with the left foot. Chelsea totally dominated the first half and deservedly went into the break a goal up.
Liverpool rallied in the second half and valiantly tried to get a few moves going but David Luiz and John Obi Mikel saw to it that Luis Suarez was shut out from the game, effectively removing the focal point for all Liverpool attacks and forcing him to drop deeper and deeper. In the 64th minute, there was a rather clumsy challenge by John Terry on Suarez in the box, but no penalty was given as Howard Webb waved play on. The look on Azpilicueta’s face said it all as he sheepishly looked at the referee, which is usually an indicator that a team mate has fouled. Then again in the 83rd minute, there was another incident involving Suarez as he dribbled into the Chelsea box and was challenged by Samuel Eto’o of all people. What he was doing there is anybody’s guess. But again, the referee saw the whole thing yet gave no foul.
The fact that Suarez doesn’t have the best of reputations with referees doesn’t help either. But big decisions like this in such big games suggest that the advent of goal line technology in the BPL is just the beginning of technological aids being bought into the beautiful game. Till then, Liverpool fans are going to be red, literally.
See Brendan Rodgers’ post match reaction here: