Mark Clattenburg says Anthony Taylor shouldn't have refereed FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea

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Anthony Taylor won’t be welcome in Chelsea anytime soon following the Blues’ FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

Taylor became public enemy No.1 after he awarded Arsenal a penalty and sent Mateo Kovacic off as Chelsea suffered a 2-1 defeat.

The referee, who also officiated Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to the Gunners in the 2017 final, isn’t a very popular figure among supporters of the west London club thanks to a string of perceived injustices.

Indeed, we wrote about a Twitter thread detailing Taylor’s ‘worst decisions’ that have gone against Chelsea over the years.

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Chelsea fans weren’t happy when it was announced that the 41-year-old would officiate the final, and under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t have.

Referees aren’t supposed to officiate more than one FA Cup final but due to the coronavirus pandemic, Taylor was awarded a second one.

Former Premier League official Mark Clattenburg didn’t agree with the decision, though, saying that the FA should have put the best man in the middle.

“An official is only supposed to oversee an FA Cup final once in a career but Saturday was Anthony Taylor's second,” Clattenburg wrote in his column for the Daily Mail

“The FA bent their rules because they didn't want a referee to have his big moment ruined by his family not being there due to the Covid-19 restrictions. 

“You might think that sounds ridiculous and I'm not a fan of this rule either. For me, the best referee should be awarded the final, regardless of whether he's already overseen one.”

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The decision to send Kovacic off sparked controversy. Already on a yellow card, the Croatian midfielder was given his marching orders when he made minimal contact with Granit Xhaka.

Clattenburg, like many, believes Taylor got it wrong.

“Taylor is highly rated by UEFA and one of the Premier League's leading referees," he added. "His first final was in 2017 when he angered Chelsea fans by letting Arsenal's opener stand. He also sent off Victor Moses. 

“On Saturday, those same supporters were left feeling hard done by again. In the case of Mateo Kovacic's second yellow card, Chelsea were wronged.

“It was a 50-50 battle for the ball and Granit Xhaka reacted theatrically.

“Unfortunately, VAR could not correct Taylor because they cannot dispute second yellows - only straight reds.

“Maybe this showed that VAR should have the power to study second yellows because this clearly had a game-changing impact.”

GIVEMESPORT's Scott Wilson says:

If the FA wanted someone who had refereed an FA Cup final before to oversee Arsenal vs Chelsea, why Taylor?

Michael Oliver, Mike Dean and Kevin Friend are all better referees and have done the job before.

He got it wrong for the Kovacic sending off, which hurt Chelsea's chances of getting back into the match, and one imagines it will be some time before he's put back in charge of a Blues match.

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