November 27, 2021

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‘A double punishment’ – James sent off and Salah levels from spot in madcap end to Liverpool vs Chelsea first half

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The decision to dismiss the Blues star for an awkward handball caused uproar as the two teams went into the break at Anfield.

The first half of Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Chelsea ended in frenetic, controversial circumstances – which provoked plenty of opposing views from observers.

Chelsea had established an early lead through Kai Havertz’s header, but they saw their advantage vanish deep into injury time before the break. 

Reece James was eventually adjudged to have handled on the line following a goalmouth scramble and Mohamed Salah made no mistake from the resulting penalty, while the Blues player was sent off for his offence. 

With time running out before the half-time whistle, Liverpool launched a final attack in their efforts to equalise. 

Several Reds attempted to convert, before Sadio Mane stabbed the ball towards the Chelsea net. 

James found himself as the last line of defence and managed to deflect the ball out of harm’s way. 

But the ball struck him between his arm and chest, prompting fierce protests from the hosts. 

The passage of play was referred to VAR, and referee Anthony Taylor went over to check the incident at pitchside. 

Taylor subsequently showed James the red card, while Salah stepped up to beat Edouard Mendy in goal and make it 1-1. 

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