It was an eight-goal thriller. But neither Chelsea nor Man City were smiling.
The two teams battled back and forth to a 4-4 draw in the 12th round of the 2023-2024 English Premier League (EPL) season at Stamford Bridge in London, England, on Wednesday. The most talked-about player was Cole Palmer.
A former City youth product, Palmer made his first-team debut in September 2020 at the age of 18. But there wasn’t much room for him in City’s deep squad, and he moved to Chelsea on September 1, the last day of the summer transfer window this season.
Palmer, who scored six goals in 41 appearances for City, played the full game against his hometown team. He scored a theater penalty kick (PK) equalizer in the 50th minute of second-half stoppage time to give Chelsea a valuable point.
It wasn’t just the goal. There was also a yellow card in the 23rd minute. City’s Elling Holland earned a PK after a foul on Mark Cucurella.
Coincidentally, the referee was the controversial Anthony Taylor.
Once again, the PK was questionable, and the Chelsea players protested loudly.
Palmer provoked the PK VAR (video assistant referee) by ‘undermining’ the penalty spot, but it didn’t escape referee Taylor’s notice. Palmer was cautioned.
Angry Chelsea fans summoned United’s “19-year-old god” Alejandro Garnacho. Garnacho had “defaced” the penalty spot by stomping on it with both feet in the dying seconds of the 2023-2024 European Champions League (UCL) Group A third leg against FC Copenhagen 먹튀검증토토사이트 (Denmark) at Anfield on March 25.
Referee Marco Guida was busy dealing with angry United players. He didn’t see Garnacho.
Garnacho didn’t escape criticism, but he wasn’t cautioned. The ‘provocation’ worked. Copenhagen’s Jordan Larsson scored the winning goal to give United a 1-0 victory.
Despite Palmer’s efforts, Holland calmly took the lead from the PK. Chelsea fans took to social media to complain, saying things like “Palmer was cautioned for damaging the PK spot,” “Garnacho got away with it twice,” “That’s a ridiculous caution,” and “Anthony Taylor is terrible.
Taylor was the referee for the second group stage match between South Korea and Ghana at last year’s World Cup in Qatar. He drew flak for blowing for a South Korean corner kick and ejecting coach Paulo Bento for protesting.