Chelsea have endured a nightmare afternoon against Southampton so far, but were lucky to half all eleven men on the pitch at half time.
Antonio Conte’s side went in at the break 1-0 down to the relegation-threatened Saints thanks to Dusan Tadic’s strike, but should probably have also found themselves a man down just before half time.
With Shane Long battling Cesc Fabregas and Willian for the ball, Marcos Alonso came charging in and caught the Ireland international on the calf, with the ball nowhere in the vicinity.
— Aaron Neilson (@Born1990) April 14, 2018
Referee Mike Dean, who had a good view of the incident, decided that not only was the challenge not worthy of a card, he didn’t even call a foul for the aggressive challenge.
Needless to say, those watching on didn’t quite agree with Dean’s verdict on the challenge:
Back under way at St Mary’s.
Is Marcos Alonso very lucky to still be on the pitch?
His challenge on Shane Long’s leg left a lot to be desired…
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) April 14, 2018
Great line from Le Tissier on Mike Dean missing that blatant foul from Alonso on Long: “If he wasn’t so arrogant he should he embarrassed.”
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) April 14, 2018
I hope Long is able to remove Alonso’s studs from his calf at half time. Mike Dean having another top game. #saintsfc
— Lucy Highnett (@lucyhighnett) April 14, 2018
That’s an intentional attempt to injure Long from Alonso. Really poor and not even booked. As clear a straight red challenge as you will see. #saintsfc
— Christ Rann (@crstig) April 14, 2018
Should Southampton hold on for the win, it will be enough to take them out of the relegation zone (for the time being at least) in what has been a very tough campaign for the club.
For Chelsea, meanwhile, defeat would mean that they will have lost six of their last nine Premier League games. It would also surely extinguish any remaining hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.