Anthony Taylor has received criticism following his handling of Chelsea’s clash with Tottenham on Sunday which contained two controversial goals including Harry Kane’s late equaliser.
The Premier League have played it safe with their backing of referee Anthony Taylor by keeping him involved for the next round of matches – but not for Chelsea’s trip to Leeds United.
Taylor was in charge of the ‘Battle of the Bridge part two’ on Sunday as Chelsea were held to a draw by Tottenham at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were in disbelief that they only emerged from the contest with a point after two controversial decisions went against them.
Harry Kane’s late equaliser came after Taylor and VAR official Mike Dean had opted against punishing Cristian Romero for pulling Marc Cucurella’s hair in the penalty box. The subsequent corner saw Kane nod home and rescue a point deep into stoppage time, prompting thousands of Chelsea fans to launch a petition against Taylor.
Blues fans were also irate at Tottenham’s first equaliser in the 2-2 draw, after Kai Havertz appeared to have been fouled in the lead up to the goal. Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was also sent off after the final whistle along with opposing boss Antonio Conte, following a second heated exchange.
The two goals were the latest in a growing line of incidents that have gone against Chelsea while Taylor has been officiating their matches. The standout moments include Mateo Kovacic’s red card in the 2019/20 FA Cup final, as well as Reece James being punished for a harsh handball against Liverpool last season.
A petition started by Chelsea supporters in the aftermath of the Tottenham clash has now collected more than 140,000 signatures since it was posted online. But the Premier League are refusing to bow to any pressure by keeping faith with Taylor.
He has been appointing as referee for West Ham’s meeting with Brighton, which kicks off at the same time of 2pm on Sunday as Chelsea’s clash away at Leeds. While Taylor is involved, Mike Dean has seemingly been taken off VAR duties as he is not listed for any of the matches this weekend, though it is not clear as to why.
Chelsea will instead be officiated by Stuart Attwell, with Paul Tierney on VAR.
The Football Association are currently investigating Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel following his comments regarding Taylor after the Tottenham match. Asked whether Taylor should be stopped from refereeing his side again, Tuchel said: “Maybe it would be better.
“But honestly, we also have VAR to help make the right decisions. Since when can players be pulled at their hair? Since when is that? And if he does not see it, I don’t blame him.
“I didn’t see it, but we have people at VAR who check this and then you see it and then how can this not be a free-kick and how can it not be a red card? How?”
Tuchel then hinted he felt Taylor was bias against Chelsea, stating: “I don’t think that just some of the fans think that: I can assure you that the whole dressing room of us, every person thinks that.
“You know the players, they know what’s going on when they are on the pitch. They know it.” Asked if Chelsea’s players were worried about Taylor refereeing their matches, Tuchel replied: “Yeah, of course.”