To no one’s surprise, reaction is divided along blue and red lines when it comes to the penalty won and converted by Eden Hazard in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Wednesday.
[ RECAP: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea ]
Hazard’s cross from deep in the 18 was blocked and both Hector Bellerin and he went for the loose ball. Bellerin’s attempt to clear the ball caught Hazard’s foot, and the Chelsea man hit the turf. Penalty. 1-1.
Bellerin, who’d go on to score a late goal, wasn’t sure it deserved a penalty and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had even stronger words.
Hazard has no doubts. From the BBC:
“We don’t need a replay, it was a penalty. Petr is a great goalkeeper, it is always hard to score against him but I put the ball in the net and that was the most important thing.
Wenger has no doubts, either. He just feels the opposite.
“There’s a farcical decision. … You ask me if it’s a penalty, I say it’s a farcical decision. You could give 10 penalties like that per game.”
The Arsenal manager was charged by the FA after he went into the referee’s locker room following a poor penalty decision against his Gunners against West Brom. And that certainly colors his temperament regarding Hazard’s penalty.
Call it soft in the sense that it’s not one Bellerin intended, or that should decide a game… but it’s a foul in the box. The draw is less about this penalty and more about Thibaut Courtois‘ brilliance against a splendid Arsenal attack.
Here’s the incident. Let us know your thoughts in the comments: