Liverpool v Chelsea: Ex-EPL referee, Mark Halsey gives verdict on Reece James red card, penalty

Former Premier League referee, Mark Halsey, has blasted Chelsea for complaining over referee Anthony Taylor’s decision to red card Reece James and award Liverpool a penalty in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.

Halsey said that Taylor’s decision was ‘spot on’, after Thomas Tuchel’s side were reduced to 10 men in the last minutes of the first half at Anfield.

James was adjudged to have handled the ball on the line following Sadio Mane’s effort from close range.

Taylor only required a brief look at the VAR monitor before deciding to send off the young England right-back.

And Tuchel had accused the referee of being too hasty with his judgement call to dismiss James, while the club’s skipper, Cesar Azpilicueta described the decision as ‘harsh’.

However, Halsey said the decision was right as the defender made a ‘deliberate movement’ to block the ball with his arm.

“Liverpool’s penalty with the resulting red card to Chelsea defender Reece James was spot on,” Halsey told The Sun.

“Some may think Anthony Taylor’s decision was controversial but the officials were correct in their application of Law 12: Handling the Ball.

“Sadio Mane’s goal-bound effort brushed the top of James’ thigh before it struck the right arm of the England full-back.

“But there was a deliberate movement of James’ arm to push the ball away and that meant it had to be a penalty. Once the penalty was given, Taylor also had to produce a red card.

“I also believe the FA will charge Chelsea for failing to control their players in the aftermath.”

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