Sterling booed by fans for ridiculous decision in FA Cup clash

Raheem Sterling blasted for ‘pulling rank’ on Cole Palmer in Chelsea’s FA Cup win against Leicester City

Martin Keown criticised Raheem Sterling for ‘pulling rank’ on Cole Palmer during Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Leicester City in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Sterling took the ball off Palmer in the first half but saw his tame penalty saved, while after the break, the Chelsea winger again took charge of a close-range free kick but fired his effort high and wide into the stand.

Sterling was subsequently booed by Chelsea supporters after missing his free kick and was then replaced by Noni Madueke as Pochettino’s side looked to score a late winner after Leicester pulled the game back from two goals down.

‘That kind of says everything about the Chelsea performance today,’ Keown said during commentary for BBC Sport after Sterling’s wayward free kick.

‘We’re all waiting to see Palmer there to maybe hit this into the back of the net, then we see this.

‘That’s a ridiculous effort. Obviously Sterling is doing his best there but Cole Palmer has to take that, end of.

‘You saw that with Cole Palmer not taking the free kick then you go back to the penalty where Sterling takes it, here again now Sterling is calling rank on a very talented player, but he’s a young player.

After Sterling was replaced by Noni Madueke in the 86th minute, Keown added: ‘A mixed day to say the least.

‘I don’t think he should be pulling rank to take that penalty, I don’t think they’d be in this situation now.

‘Then that free kick he took was quite wild. Not the best day for Sterling.’

Marc Cucurella and Palmer had given Chelsea a two-goal lead by half time but Axel Disasi’s long-range own goal gave Leicester a lifeline before Stephy Mavididi scored a brilliant equaliser.

Carney Chukwuemeka, who came on as a late substitute, put Chelsea back in front in injury time after a neat one-two with Palmer, while Madueke then sealed Chelsea’s win with a superb individual effort.

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