Chelsea legend Joe Cole has accused referee Paul Tierney of ignoring a key decision during the Blues’ visit to Anfield to take on league-leaders Liverpool.
Early on during the tie, Conor Gallagher appeared to be caught by Reds defender Virgil van Dijk as he made his way into the penalty area.
The England international fell to the ground before he could get a shot away, but Tierney dopted against pointing to the spot – much to the dismay of Mauricio Pochettino and the rest of the Chelsea squad.
Cole certainly deemed it a penalty and made his feelings on the decision crystal clear while covering the clash for TNT Sport He claimed:
“[Raheem] Sterling goes into the box and Gallagher takes a lovely touch and [Virgil] Van Dijk just squares himself off and I think he just leans into him there. For me, that is a penalty. In front of the Kop in the first 10 minutes, I think the referee has not been brave there.”
To add insult to injury from a Chelsea perspective, there were more controversial penalty decisions before the first-half was up. Blues full-back Ben Chilwell was shown a yellow card for diving after going to ground despite minimal contact from Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate.
On the verge of half-time, the Reds were then awarded a penalty of their own. Benoit Badashille was deemed to have caught the foot of Diogo Jota, scorer of Liverpool’s first goal.
Darwin Nunez stepped up to take it, but could only smash his effort against the upright despite sending Blues goalkeeper Djorde Petrovic the wrong way.
Before that decision had been made, Liverpool academy graduate Conor Bradley enjoyed a moment he’ll never forget when he bagged his first goal for the club in front of the Anfield faithful to put the hosts 2-0 up. Chelsea were second best for the entirety of the first-half and the scoreline reflected that.
Pochettino had a face like thunder as he watched his players fail to get to grips with the tempo Liverpool had set. The Reds were dominant in the midfield battle and showed sharper finishing when it mattered most.
Alisson was rarely called into action at all during the first 45 minutes, left to simply watch on as his team-mates peppered the Chelsea goal. Klopp’s side are well aware a win prolongs their status as table-toppers, despite wins for both Arsenal and Manchester City this match-week.