Ex-Premier league referee takes swipe at Craig Pawson over disallowed Chelsea goal

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has criticised Craig Pawson’s officiating in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday night.

The Blues were denied a last minute winner with VAR identifying a foul by Benoit Badiashile in the build up to Axel Disasi’s goal.

It appeared it would be another bad night for the Blues as they found themselves 2-0 down at half time thanks to a Marc Cucurella own goal and a nice finish from Morgan Rogers.

However Chelsea came out a different team in the second half thanks to some choice words from Mauricio Pochettino and Thiago Silva and mounted a brilliant come back.

Noni Madueke reduced the deficit just after the hour mark, before Conor Gallagher fired in a brilliant equaliser with nine minutes remaining, and the Blues believed they had won it in stoppage time.

Axel Disasi’s close range header sparked wild celebrations amongst the Chelsea players and fans, but the joy was short lived as Pawson was sent to the monitor to review an incident between Badiashile and Diego Carlos in build up to the goal.

The Frenchman was adjudged to have pushed Carlos in the back, with the decision leaving Pochettino and his players absolutely furious.

Now former referee Halsey has come out and pointed the finger at Pawson for not awarding a free kick in the first place when he couldn’t have had a clearer view.

Speaking to The Sun, he explained: “I was baffled why VAR got involved because it wasn’t a clear and obvious error.

“Referee Craig Pawson had a great view of the incident, he was looking directly at both players and allowed play to continue. If Pawson thought it was a foul by Benoit Badiashile on Diego Carlos then why didn’t he award a free-kick straight away?

“I felt it was a foul but Pawson had to give it in real-time and then there wouldn’t have been a fuss afterwards. My big problem with this incident is it’s a classic case of technology re-refereeing a game and not what VAR is there for.

“VAR official Chris Kavanagh recommended an on-field review and Pawson changed his mind. I’ve watched Pawson for a long time and he does not seem to make the big decisions and uses VAR as a back-up.”

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