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Ex-Premier League referee hits back at Chelsea complaints over Reece James red vs Liverpool


Reece James was given a red card for his handball in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool (Sky)

Anthony Taylor’s decision to red card Reece James and award Liverpool a penalty in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea was ‘spot on’, according to former Premier League referee Mark Halsey.

Thomas Tuchel’s side were reduced to 10 men in the first half at Anfield after James handled the ball on the line following Sadio Mane’s effort from close range.

The ball hit James’ knee before striking his arm, while referee Taylor only required a brief look at the VAR monitor by the dugout before deciding to send off the Chelsea right-back.

Tuchel accused Taylor of being too hasty with his judgement call to dismiss James, while Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta claimed the decision was ‘harsh’.

But Halsey believes the decision was right as James 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.

Referee Anthony Taylor was accused of being too quick over his decision to dismiss Reece James (PA)

‘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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