Mark Halsey says Saka penalty was “a tough decision”

Chelsea and Arsenal played a thoroughly enjoyable game at Stamford Bridge last night, as Arsenal won 4-2 and took three valuable points in their quest to finish in the top four in the Premier League.

Bleu’s defense spent a night resting at the bridge and were poor all around; Where they could not deal with Arsenal’s counter-attacks, which left Thomas Tuchel unhappy after the match, as the German told Sky Sports: “We scored five goals and lost 4-2. Three goals against, two goals for us and one for Arsenal.”

Lots of goals could have been avoided, in particular, Arsenal’s fourth, in which Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta missed an unnecessary penalty.

Saka made contact first with the defender, who then proceeded to hold the 20-year-old until the winger fell, which referee Jon Moss deemed a foul.

Saka fell after being held captive by Azpilicueta

To help explain John Moss’ thinking behind his decision, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has exclusively given his thoughts caught sneakingAs the former official said:

It’s a tough decision. Obviously Saka and Azpilicueta are competing for the ball, and I think Saka initially started the connection with the Chelsea captain. You can see he grabs his arm and that prevents him from standing on the right side because he’s obviously blind to him and there’s a little bit of holding him and then Saka goes down.”

“It’s one of those, it’s subjective and just because the ball isn’t close to Saka and the ball is behind him, it doesn’t mean to say a penalty can’t be awarded.”

Halsey then explained why the VAR did not intervene, saying: “VAR will not interfere in this situation because it is a personal matter, I think if Jon Moss had not been given the punishment, I don’t think a review would have been recommended because I think it was Saka who initiated the call in First place. Also, if John Moss sees it and then throws the foul at Chelsea, again, it won’t be invalidated and that’s why VAR didn’t get involved because it’s not a clear and obvious mistake by the stadium referee.”

“It’s a tough decision and it could have gone either way,” concluded the previous referee.

It was a tough decision for Moss, but Azpilicueta shouldn’t have put himself in the position in the first place. Cedric’s cross was going behind the 20-year-old, so why didn’t the Chelsea captain let the ball go after being caught by Saka?

In the end it probably didn’t matter because Arsenal were already 3-2 ahead but it’s about football and you never know what could happen until the final whistle sounds.