Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: The incompetence of Anthony Taylor

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: Referee Anthony Taylor during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on August 14, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: Referee Anthony Taylor during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on August 14, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

Before diving into this piece, it’s important to note that mistakes happen and everyone is allowed to make them. Nobody is perfect in life, nor should anybody be expected to be. However, the difference between a mistake and incompetence is vast. Anthony Taylor drastically crossed that line, showing that he’s close to the latter, during Chelsea’s game against Spurs on Sunday.

Chelsea versus Tottenham is, and will always be, a tense affair. A rich history of highly competitive and aggressive games where Chelsea usually results victorious. This time, however, Taylor made it clear which of the two teams needed his help. In the end, the better team played to win, while the other consistently collected handout from the shady referee. Three key factors affected the game, and Taylor allowed all of which to stand against the Blues.

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Anthony Taylor’s incompetence cost Chelsea three vital points

The first was the foul on Kai Havertz, which preceded Spurs’ first goal. Now, we can all argue that it was Jorginho’s mistake that led to that goal, but the face of the matter is the ball should have never gotten to that point. When Havertz was running with the ball, he was brought down from behind by Rodrigo Bentancur, who went through his legs to win the ball. Under normal circumstances, this is a free kick and a yellow card. Nevertheless, Bentancur walked away with his head down after the challenge and Taylor did nothing but shrug it off. This alone was extremely questionable, and it arguably turned the game in Spurs’ favor with the resulting goal.

The second—and more obvious indication of incompetence—was the foul on Marc Cucurella. This incident happened during a Tottenham corner kick toward the end of the match. While a lot of things happen inside the penalty box during a set piece, a player being pulled to the ground by his hair should not be one of them. More importantly, it should not be overlooked by the officials, especially if technology allows to revisit the encounter.

Make no mistake, this was not an oversight by Taylor. Rather, it was incompetence at its finest.

There is no excuse for when a referee can look at that incident after the fact and not call a foul and give a red card. Yet, that is exactly what happened. The play, of course, resulted in another Spurs corner and ultimately, the equalizing goal for the noisy neighbors. To add salt to the wound, the question stands on how the VAR referee (Mike Dean) looks at this incident a second time, and does not see a clear foul. It was evident for the world to see on photos and in video replays.

Ultimately, Chelsea ended with three players booked with yellow cards. Conversely, no Spurs player received a booking, despite conducting more fouls throughout the match. The infuriating part of all of this is Taylor’s longstanding history of picking a side during Chelsea’s big games. It seems that the clearer or more outrageous the foul on a Chelsea player, the less Taylor seems interested on even considering it as one. Meanwhile, these turn into game-changing events that, because of one person’s ineptitude, has negative consequences on the Blues. These performances by a referee are unacceptable, and Taylor has a long-standing history of interfering with Chelsea’s success over the years.

The Blues’ current record under the referee is 17 wins, seven losses and 10 draws. While these may not look like the worst statistics in the world, one must consider the importance of those games lost or tied. For example, five of the seven games lost were knockout, semifinal or final games of the League Cup or FA Cup. Further, four of the 10 draws in the Premier League were against large clubs. It is clear, any further involvement from Taylor will cost Chelsea more points or, worse yet, trophies. Therefore, since his incompetence is clear, he should not officiate any more Chelsea games and he must be held accountable for his actions.

Next. The two moments that caused Chelsea’s draw against Spurs. dark

What did you make of the match? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!