Embarrassing referee calls robbed Chelsea of Champions League win

Emma Hayes felt Chelsea were “robbed” after two “embarrassing” late decisions in their controversial 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in the Women’s Champions League.

Hayes said it was “painful” to see a foul outside the box by Chelsea defender Jessie Fleming be awarded as a penalty, which was scored by Olga Carmona to earn Madrid a point.

The Chelsea manager was also dismayed by the decision to disallow what would have been a 95th-minute winner from Niamh Charles for offside against Sam Kerr.

Replays showed the call was wrong, but there is no VAR in the Women’s Champions League group stage, and Hayes said: “I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a game like that, when two humongous decisions have gone against us.

“We’ve been robbed of what should have been a 3-1 game. We dominated the game and went 2-1 up. Then there is the free-kick awarded as a penalty. I could see that it was outside of the box, so I’m shocked those managing the game couldn’t.

“Of course, maybe Jessie shouldn’t lunge in that area, but it happens clearly outside the box. Then we score a legitimate goal, with Niamh three or four yards onside. It’s embarrassing. I cannot understand the decision.

“I had to check, because Niamh’s onside, but the reason the goal was ruled offside was because Sam was interfering with the goalkeeper.

Sam’s about seven yards away from the goalkeeper, she’s nowhere near her, so I cannot understand the decision whatsoever.

“At this level, when you are in control of a game and important decisions like that go against you, it makes it difficult.”

Hayes will leave Chelsea at the end of the season to take over as head coach of the United States women’s national team, and this is her final shot at Champions League glory with the Blues.

She has won six titles and five FA Cups during 11 years at Chelsea, but European glory has eluded her. Hayes has said leading the Blues to European glory in her final season would be a “fairytale”.


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