Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur won the ball in the lead-up to their first goal of the afternoon on Sunday evening, according to Dermot Gallagher.
The former Premier League official was speaking on Sky Sports News’ Ref Watch, where he discussed the controversial incidents in the game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg netted his first goal of the campaign against their London rivals, but it was the build-up to the Dane’s strike which saw Bentancur’s challenge on Kai Havertz come under scrutiny.
The Uruguayan midfielder had initially lost the ball on the edge of his own half and was forced to slide in on the German forward, with his challenge not deemed a foul by Anthony Taylor.
And Gallagher agrees with the referee’s decision not to stop play for a foul and feels the game went on for too long for VAR to take a look back at the incident, anyway.
“Definitely [it was too long for VAR to review]. The referee’s the clue, here. The referee actually points straight at the ball and says quite clearly he’s got the ball.
“He does play the ball, but he takes the man as well – I think that’s the referee’s choice. You have to accept you see that kind of incident on a football field nearly every game and the referee decides it’s a foul or not. He said no, he quite clearly says no.”
TIF Thoughts on Gallagher’s comments…
It is definitely a tight call. There are some angles which show Bentancur getting a toe on the ball but it does look like a clumsy foul from other viewpoints.
Did Bentancur get the ball?
But Taylor was insistent the 25-year-old had taken the ball, and given the goal was scored 44 seconds after the incident happened, it was impossible for the VAR to go back.
The game was full of controversy and a busy one for Bentancur, who gave away three fouls to the Blues, however, Gallagher seems adamant Taylor got this call spot on.
And given Gallagher has provided his seal of approval, it has to be said this seems to be a superb challenge from Bentancur as not only did it have a big role to play in the goal, but it also stopped Havertz from potentially running on and extending Chelsea’s 1-0 lead.