MARK CLATTENBURG: Chelsea's 4-1 victory against Tottenham was MAYHEM

MARK CLATTENBURG: Chelsea’s 4-1 victory against Tottenham was MAYHEM. Destiny Udogie was lucky and Cristian Romero was petulant… Michael Oliver and VAR John brooks were tested to the limit

  • Chelsea beat Tottenham 4-1 on Monday in what was a fiery encounter 
  • Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie were both sent off during the match 
  • CHRIS SUTTON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a clown – It’s All Kicking Off

This was mayhem, like some sort of sequel to ‘The Battle of the Bridge’ in 2016. 

That was the hardest match I ever had to referee and this game was as hectic for the officiating team to govern. 

There were crunching challenges, petulant kicks, penalty claims, disallowed goals, potential elbows – and that was only in the first half! 

It was the type of contest that required the officiating team to be at their very best. 

Referee Michael Oliver and VAR John Brooks had to apply the laws but also manage the spectacle, and they were tested to their limits with what happened here… 

Destiny Udogie could have received a red card in the opening 20 minutes of Chelsea’s 4-1 victory against Tottenham for this challenge on Raheem Sterling

It was a fiery match that also saw Cristian Romero kick out at Levi Colwill in the first half

Michael Oliver and his officials were tested to the limit during the thrilling affair with VAR John Brooks being called into action on several occasions

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Udogie escapes red – Wrong decision 

Destiny Udogie was lucky for two reasons. One, because Raheem Sterling pulled his leg away to prevent a serious injury. 

Two, because Brooks did not tell Oliver that this challenge was worthy of a red. Udogie was airborne, leading with two feet, with studs showing. 

It is precisely this type of challenge which needs outlawing from football.

Romero kicks out – Right decision 

Pure petulance off the ball from Cristian Romero on Levi Colwill but not violent, so it was right that he avoided red. 

Raheem Sterling’s goal in the aftermath needed disallowing due to his handball immediately before scoring.

Romero sees red – Right decision 

Once it was established that Moises Caicedo’s strike needed disallowing — due to Nicolas Jackson interfering from an offside position — attention turned to Romero’s challenge on Enzo Fernandez. 

I’m not surprised this resulted in a red as well as a penalty. Romero flew into a challenge and took a huge risk, even though he clearly won the ball.

Romero was subsequently shown a red card for this challenge on Enzo Fernandez, while also conceding a penalty that allowed Chelsea to pull level at 1-1

Udogie was shown a second yellow card in the second half after wiping out Sterling 

Football has changed so much and now playing the ball is not enough to save someone from red.

James whacks Udogie but stays on – Right decision 

James was using his arm to jump, not to endanger. Plus he caught his opponent with his forearm, not the elbow.

Udogie’s second yellow – Right decision 

When already on a yellow, Udogie was rash in wiping out Sterling. 

This was one of the easiest decisions of the night for Oliver — a second yellow all day long.


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

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