Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has exclusively revealed to CaughtOffside that the decision to send Andreas Christensen off during Chelsea’s tie against Liverpool was the correct one.
Halsey, who can be found discussing most controversial refereeing calls here, was certain that Christensen deserved to be given his marching order for a ‘rugby tackle’ like challenge on Sadio Mane.
Just moments before halftime, the centre-back violently pulled down Mane after a dangerous ball over the top of the defensive line from Jordan Henderson.
Referee Paul Tierney initially handed a yellow card to the Dane before using a VAR consultation for the proof and second-look needed to send Christensen straight off.
Take a look at the incident below:
Red or yellow?
Did the referee get it right with Andreas Christensen's dismissal?
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 20, 2020
Here’s what Halsey had to say on the handling and outcome of the decision:
“The ball comes over the top, with Christensen on the wrong of the side of Mane. You have to say that when he brings him down it’s like a rugby tackle.”
“I think from a referee’s point of view, Paul Tierney was some way away from the incident, Tierney will have had some doubt at first, thinking would Mane have got to the ball or would Kepa have beaten him to it.”
“So as a referee in those situations – you don’t guess, Tierney did what was correct in my opinion, showing a yellow card because he was unsure, knowing that VAR can come in and help him.”
“Rightly so – once Tierney saw the incident on VAR – he sent Christensen off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.”
Liverpool made their advantage count as soon as the second-half resumed with Mane bagging a brace in the opening 10 minutes of the second period.
Halsey also told us that he’s happy to see that Premier League officials are using the pitch-side monitors to review decisions, with the English top-flight previously lagging behind the rest of the field when it comes to IFAB’s guidelines for use of the game-changing technology.