‘He’s lucky’ - Former referee believes VAR missed big call in Chelsea’s win at Leicester City

Chelsea players were on the receiving end of two possible red-card challenges against Leicester City.
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Leicester City defender Ricardo Pereira should have received at least a yellow card for his challenge on Chelsea’s Joao Felix last weekend, believes former referee Dermot Gallagher.

Pereira caught Felix with a late tackle, as he stamped on the player’s ankle but escaped punishment, with VAR not recommending a review.

Gallagher felt the decision to not even brandish a caution was incorrect, as Chelsea won the game 3-1 at the King Power Stadium.

“I think it should have been more than a free-kick - it should’ve been sanctioned,” said Gallagher on Sky Sports News.

“Does the VAR think it’s enough for a red card? Obviously not, otherwise they’d have sent him off.

“But the question is, if the VAR had felt it was bordering on a red card and sent him, the referee retaining all options would he have gone to the screen and yellow carded him, so he would’ve been sanctioned.

He added: “I think he’s lucky but if he’d have got a yellow card then people would’ve accepted. There’s no way it’s just a free-kick only.”

Kai Havertz was also on the end of a rough challenge from Daniel Amartey as the Leicester man’s studs left a visible mark on the forward’s mid-rift.

However, Gallagher insisted it should not have been a red card. He insisted: “I don’t think so this is reckless at worst. He clearly gets the ball and follows through there is no doubt about that.

“I understand [that Havertz is wounded] but I have been in games where players have had broken legs and it wasn’t a red card. I am not saying that is right but injuries are part and parcel of the game.

“Amartey won the ball cleanly without doubt but followed through recklessly. A yellow card would have been sufficient. It is hard to give a red card when a player so clearly wins the ball. “

Gallagher also weighed in on the incident which saw James Maddison’s free-kick blocked by Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana inside the penalty area.

The ball struck Fofan’s elbow as he jumped to defend the shot and Gallagher said: “I hear lots of people talking about this. It hits his arm there is no doubt about that. Is he making himself bigger?

“I think not, I think his arm is tucked in. Lots of people says it should be a penalty but I think that is a tough call for the ref.”

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