Reece James speaks out on red card vs Liverpool and sends message to Chelsea teammate Kai Havertz

The young defender was sent off for handling the ball at Anfield (Picture: Getty)

Reece James has described his red card against Liverpool as ‘very frustrating’ after he was sent off and conceded a penalty in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday evening.

The young defender set up his side’s opening goal, swinging in a corner for Kai Havertz to head home, and Chelsea looked the side most likely to get the second goal of the game as they pushed forward dangerously.

But just before half-time the match was flipped on its head as James was given his marching orders, with the ball ricocheting off his knee and onto his arm on the goal-line.

James was shown a red card and gave away a penalty (Picture: PA)

Referee Anthony Taylor initially did not spot the incident but after consulting with VAR he awarded a penalty and sent off James, with Mohamed Salah dispatching the resulting spot-kick.

Chelsea reshuffled at half-time and made a double sub, digging in manfully with a hard-fought display to secure a point, and James was full of praise for his teammates afterwards – though he still seemed rather annoyed about the sending off.

‘Very frustrating to get sent off,’ he wrote on Instagram after the match. ‘But what a shift from the lads in the second half. Thanks for all your support.’

James also had a cheeky message for Havertz after the German made his own post on social media which read: ‘A point back to London from a very tough game, thank you to all the travelling fans for the support.’

The England international seemed a little miffed that his teammate had not given him any credit for his assist, replying to his post: ‘You’re welcome bro.’

Asked about James’ sending off, manager Thomas Tuchel said afterwards: ‘Double punishment is always super hard and it was a bit of a spoiler, but I think it’s the rule now if the referee says he denies a clear goal with his hand.

‘I don’t like these early red cards in general, not just when it’s us but when I’m watching on TV, because for me it spoils the game. Nobody wants to see that for 45 minutes, they want to see a high-level game.

‘The situation itself, I can understand the decision and I’m not saying it’s a wrong decision, but I did not like the way the referee checked it. He checked only the image which showed the contact and then it was a clear decision.

‘On the bench we saw also the whole movement and you saw it was a deflection at short distance, it comes off his hip to his arm, the arm is not in a super unnatural arm position.’

MORE : Thomas Tuchel singles out ‘super talented’ Chelsea star vs Liverpool and gives N’Golo Kante injury update

MORE : Thomas Tuchel and Cesar Azpilicueta criticise referee over Chelsea’s ‘harsh’ red card vs Liverpool

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