Brighton 1 - 2 Chelsea : 3 Blues lessons learned

Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea FC - Premier League / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages
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Refereeing inconsistencies and VAR controversy

English referees have faced considerable scrutiny this season, with calls for the removal of VAR gaining traction due to its perceived failures. However, some observers argue that the issue lies not with VAR itself, but with the English referees tasked with its implementation. The match against Brighton highlighted yet another instance of poor officiating against Chelsea.

In a particularly controversial moment, Tariq Lamptey appeared to violently elbow Mykhailo Mudryk, a clear infraction evident from TV replays. Despite this, VAR opted not to intervene, citing a lack of conclusive evidence to penalize the Brighton defender. Meanwhile, VAR did not hesitate to recommend that referee Michael Salisbury review an incident involving Reece James, resulting in a red card. This inconsistency in VAR intervention was also evident months earlier in a match against Tottenham Hotspur, where a similar foul committed by Christian Romero went unpunished.

Furthermore, there have been instances where decisions went against Chelsea, such as when Nicolas Jackson's goal was disallowed due to a perceived push. Such decisions have raised questions about the consistency and fairness of officiating in the Premier League, with Chelsea feeling aggrieved by the perceived injustices.