Reece James controversially sent off against Liverpool after handball penalty conceded

Reece James was controversially sent off against Liverpool for a handball on the line after VAR assessment… as Jamie Redknapp says it was the ‘RIGHT decision’ but Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says the Chelsea star’s arm was ‘in a natural position’

  • Chelsea gave away a penalty against Liverpool just before half-time when they were leading 1-0
  • Reece James was judged to have fielded the ball after a VAR check
  • Referee Anthony Taylor gave a penalty and sent the Chelsea defender away
  • Jamie Redknapp said the penalty and red card decision was the right one
  • Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink argued that James’ arm was in a ‘natural position’


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There was chaos at Anfield after Chelsea defender Reece James was controversially sent off for a handball against Liverpool.

Chelsea had taken the lead through Kai Havertz, but conceded a penalty just before half-time after Sadio Mane’s shot hit James at the knee and the ball bounced off his arm as he stood on the line.

Liverpool players immediately protested to the referee and after being checked by VAR, it was ruled that James had moved his arm towards the ball and was shown a penalty and a red card.

Reece James was sent off after the ball hit his arm on the line and also conceded a penalty

Reece James was sent off after the ball hit his arm on the line and also conceded a penalty

Chelsea players were furious in the aftermath of the incident as they led 1-0

Chelsea players were furious in the aftermath of the incident as they led 1-0

Chelsea players were furious in the aftermath of the incident as they led 1-0

Mo Salah converted from the penalty spot to level Liverpool before players from both teams became embroiled in a heated argument.

It started when goalkeeper Edouard Mendy kicked the ball away, causing Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson to confront him.

Both goalkeeper Mendy and Antonio Rudiger were shown yellow cards for their protests in the aftermath, as the referee had to calm the situation.

As the teams went into halftime, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta argued with the referee who went into the tunnel.

Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink both agreed the incident was worthy of a penalty.

Chelsea players argued with referee after referee gave it after a VAR check

Chelsea players argued with referee after referee gave it after a VAR check

Chelsea players argued with referee after referee gave it after a VAR check

James was surprised by the decision when he and England team-mate Jordan Henderson spoke

James was surprised by the decision when he and England team-mate Jordan Henderson spoke

James was surprised by the decision when he and England team-mate Jordan Henderson spoke

However, the former Chelsea player argued that James’ arm was in a natural position.

Hasselbaink said: ‘I think it’s a natural position when you look, he goes with his knee first and that’s why his arm moves too. It hits his arm and the referee has to decide if I want the penalty there too.

“It’s the movement of the knee, the arm goes with you. You can’t put your arm behind your back and your knee goes up, it’s not natural but it happens. It’s a punishment.’

His fellow expert Redknapp praised Sadio Mane’s work in the run-up to the penalty and said the rules required a red card.

Mo Salah made no mistake by sending the keeper the wrong way to level Liverpool

Mo Salah made no mistake by sending the keeper the wrong way to level Liverpool

Mo Salah made no mistake by sending the keeper the wrong way to level Liverpool

Chelsea and Liverpool players exchanged words in the aftermath of the penalty

Chelsea and Liverpool players exchanged words in the aftermath of the penalty

Chelsea and Liverpool players exchanged words in the aftermath of the penalty

He said: ‘Sadio Mane does an incredible job with that header, then he stays alive on the floor, gets up quickly and Havertz sleeps and he (Mane) chops for him and does a great job for his team.

“I think Reece James has a little bit of a movement there with his right arm to try and clear the ball and it turns into a handball.

“He denied a chance to score that should lead to a red card, that’s just the rule whether you like it or not. So I think Reece used his right hand to clear the ball.”

James' red card gave Chelsea a tough test going into the second half against Liverpool

James' red card gave Chelsea a tough test going into the second half against Liverpool

James’ red card gave Chelsea a tough test going into the second half against Liverpool

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