Liverpool vs Chelsea: I feel sorry for Reece James – Azpilicueta

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Chelsea captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, has said that he feels sorry for Reece James after the youngster was sent off during their 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel’s side took an early lead through Kai Havertz’s header and looked very dangerous going forward.

But just before the break, the game flipped on its head when the young England international was adjudged to have handled on the line.

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The referee initially missed the incident but came over to the VAR screen and immediately decided to award a penalty and a red card.

Mohamed Salah converted the spot kick for Liverpool to level the tie for the Reds just before the half-time whistle.

Speaking with BBC, Azpilicueta described the decision as harsh, saying, “Harsh. I feel sorry for Reece. The referee got advice from VAR to give it. He went to the screen to watch one replay.

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“We got the double punishment, red card and a penalty – and two yellow cards in the same action. We were angry.

“But you have to calm down and find a way to fight together as a team. I think the team fought and maybe we had the best two chances in the second half.

“I would like to know if first he touches the ball with his leg, which can be [a mitigating circumstance]. You know the handball rule, we had a meeting… it’s difficult.

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“In this position, the ball is on the line and he just touched the ball on the leg and then the arm.

“I understand the arm is a bit further from the body but also we cannot run with our arms glued to our bodies. So of course as a defender, it’s very difficult and tricky.”



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