Main reason Michael Oliver didn’t award Chelsea a penalty for Jack Grealish handball explained

Main reason Michael Oliver didn’t award Chelsea a penalty for Jack Grealish handball explained

Dermot Gallagher has explained why Michael Oliver may not have awarded Chelsea a penalty during the Blues’ clash against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final. Mauricio Pochettino’s side had several opportunities to go ahead at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but the reigning champions prevailed.

Bernardo Silva broke the deadlock in the final minutes after latching onto a deflected cross by Kevin De Bruyne. Despite carving Manchester City open on several occasions, Chelsea managed just five shots on target and failed to establish a foothold in the tie.

With that being said though, the west London outfit could have very easily taken the lead shortly into the second half. In the 55th minute, a free-kick by Cole Palmer struck the arm of Jack Grealish in the wall, deflecting the ball wide of the post.

Bizarrely, Oliver awarded Manchester City a goal-kick instead of a corner – even after the Video Assistant Referee intervened to review the incident – much to the disbelief of Chelsea’s players and coaching staff. Speaking on Sky Sports, Gallagher was asked whether or not the right decision was made.

The former Premier League referee said: “This is another case where I wonder if when the ball strikes him, goes out of play and gives a goal kick, the referee has not seen a handball and, on that basis, I wonder if VAR can tell him to have a look.

“As I said earlier, he can still hold his ground and say that he doesn’t think it is a handball but I think it is more acceptable if the referee makes that decision.”

Speaking to reporters after the game in the capital, Pochettino was quizzed on the incident. The Blues manager said: “I don’t know. I think you had a better view. From the touchline, it was difficult to see if it was a penalty.

“I was talking [to the referee] because after Jesus [Perez, the Chelsea assistant manager] and my staff said it was a penalty. I only said to him, ‘Why not go and check the penalty on the TV?’ I think from what I saw, [he nods his head], but move on.”

Pochettino added: “Now we are going to play Tuesday against a very good team in Arsenal. We need to be ready. Like Man City, there’s not enough time to feel good and recover for us on Tuesday. I am happy with the way we are evolving.”

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