West Ham v Chelsea: Fabian Balbuena receives harsh red card

Should Fabian Balbuena have been sent off?

VAR was once again the topic of debate during Chelsea’s visit to West Ham on Saturday evening.

With the Blues 1-0 up at the London Stadium going into the final 10 minutes of the game, the hosts had a man sent off following a VAR review.

Centre-back Fabian Balbuena was shown a red card for a tackle on Ben Chilwell and it was an incredibly harsh call by referee Chris Kavanagh, who re-watched the incident on the pitch-side monitor.

The Paraguayan defender made contact with the Chelsea left-back on the follow through after clearing the ball up field.

Balbuena could do absolutely nothing to avoid connecting with Chilwell’s calf, but the referee still deemed his actions to be dangerous play and reached for his red card as a result.

Take a look at the incident for yourself below…


How is that a red card?! We’ve had some shocking decisions from referees in the Premier League this season, but that might just be the worst of the lot.

Shortly after the incident, Gary Lineker tweeted: “How can VAR and the referee get it so wrong? It’s just baffling. Utterly baffling.”

Once again, the Match of the Day host is bang on the money. It really is time the Premier League bin off VAR for good, as the technology is not improving any aspect of the sport.

Allowing a referee to watch endless slow-motion replays of an incident? No thank you.

The game in east London finished 1-0 to Chelsea, with Timo Werner’s goal in the 43rd-minute enough to secure another priceless three points for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Chelsea are now four points clear of sixth-place Liverpool ahead of their Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

(Credit: The Football Terrace)

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