Chelsea’s Reece James was sent off and Liverpool awarded a penalty after Video Assistant Referee sent referee Anthony Taylor to the pitchside monitor to review a potential handball on the goal line.
It’s the moment that turned an intoxicating Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea on its ear, but why was James sent off and should he have been?
There were discussions on the Internet and in pubs and homes about whether Reece James meant to swing at the ball with his arm after blocking a close-range shot with his leg.
But it turns out that this isn’t some sort of double jeopardy occasion: As soon as the play is called a handball in the box, the player is gone.
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The rules state that a defender will be sent off if they are: "denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a handball offence."
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) August 28, 2021
Fortunately for Premier League fans, the change in the game hardly made it less entertaining as Chelsea countered and Liverpool fought to break down a very good Blues defense.
In fact, Romelu Lukaku had a side-volley bid blocked as Chelsea produced some serious danger with 10 men.
Atop this post is the whole incident including Mohamed Salah’s clinical penalty to make it 1-1. Care to make an argument in James’ favor? We’re all ears (and eyes, really, but not hands. Typing with the nose and toes, for sure).