The three big calls referee Graham Scott made during Chelsea vs Norwich

The magic of the cup was back in all its glory at Stamford Bridge last night; if you consider major controversy to be magic, anyway.

Chelsea and Norwich produced a hugely entertaining FA Cup third round replay, having contested a seriously dull 0-0 draw at Carrow Road almost a fortnight ago.

And while the result was the same in 90 minutes, there was much more action, with the Blues emerging as the victors 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in normal time, and the hosts ended up with nine men.

It seemed for all the world like Michy Batshuayi’s close-range effort would be enough to secure Antonio Conte’s men a fourth round fixture at home to Newcastle, but Jamal Lewis’ first ever senior goal in the 94th minute took the tie into extra-time.

During the additional 30 minutes, Chelsea were reduced to nine men after Pedro and Alvaro Morata were both dismissed for second bookable offences, the latter receiving two yellow cards in a matter of seconds.

But Norwich couldn’t keep their cool from the spot, with Nelson Oliveira missing for Norwich, while Chelsea scored all five of their spot kicks, and Eden Hazard rolled in the winning effort.

It was a seriously busy night for referee Graham Scott, and even with the help of the video assistant referee (VAR), there is still a lot of controversy about his decisions.

VAR has consequently been slammed, both by Conte and people within the media, as the debate raged on.

INCIDENT ONE: Pedro ‘dive’

Just after the hour mark, and with Chelsea 1-0 ahead, Pedro was sent through on goal by Kenedy.

Admittedly he was in quite a wide position and any shot would’ve been difficult, but instead the Spaniard went to ground when the on-rushing Angus Gunn challenged him.

So that is pretty conclusive evidence that Pedro has put in a shocker of a dive there, throwing himself to the floor with Gunn nowhere near him, so the referee made the correct call by showing the winger a yellow card for simulation.

His second yellow was also for a cynical foul, so there can be no debating his red card overall.

INCIDENT TWO: Willian ‘dive’

By far the most opinion-splitting incident of the night, with Willian tumbling over a clumsy challenge from Timm Klose in just the second minute of added time.

There is clear contact, but the question is whether Willian was on his way down in order to create the foul, in which case it would be classed as a dive.

Scott awarded Norwich a free-kick and yellow-carded the Brazilian, much to the dismay of Conte and Alan Shearer, who was a pundit for BBC’s live coverage of the game.

Both men were furious that a penalty wasn’t awarded, and Conte called for improvement to VAR.

“We need to improve if we want to use this new system,” Conte started. “In this game there was a situation very clear, with Willian in first-half extra time. I watched it and this is a penalty.

“The referee took quickly a decision to book Willian. If you do this quickly it means you don’t have doubt.”

The debate over this incident won’t end any time soon, with it showing the importance of opinion and not fact with regards to VAR assistance.

INCIDENT THREE: Morata ‘dive’ and red card

Morata’s miserable run for Chelsea continued after he was shown two quickfire yellow cards, the first for a perceived dive, and the second for dissent to the referee, who had already infuriated Chelsea fans and players alike.

With his suspension, the £75m will have gone over a month without a goal, as he will miss the trip to Brighton this weekend.

There is definite contact from the Norwich defender, but it doesn’t appear to be enough to go down, while Morata certainly throws himself to the floor.

Again, this is debatable but it is hard to say the referee was completely wrong in his decision, while he was then brave enough to correctly show Morata a second yellow for dissent.

However, journalist Raphael Honigstein believed that it was neither a penalty or a dive, and that play should have been waved on.

It was clearly a very busy night for Scott, but in fairness to him he appears to have done pretty well considering the pressure he was under.

Whether you agree that VAR is going to improve the accuracy of decisions in football, there is one thing we can all take from last night’s game; you have to be completely mad to be a referee.

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