Chelsea and Leeds United players were involved in a furious bust-up at full time after a controversial late penalty decided the result of their Premier League clash.
Thomas Tuchel’s men came out on top with a 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, putting them two points adrift of league leaders Manchester City and just a point behind second-placed Liverpool.
The Blues suffered an early scare when Raphinha put away a 28th-minute penalty for the visitors, but Mason Mount scored on the stroke of half-time before Jorginho bagged a brace from the penalty spot.
Netted in the 94th minute, it was his second effort from 12 yards out that caused the most controversy after Joe Gelhardt’s equalizer had seemed set to earn Marcelo Bielsa’s side a hard-earned point.
In injury time, though, Antonio Rudiger went down after a soft challenge from Mateusz Klich, which saw the west Londoners awarded the chance to snatch victory, which Jorginho relished.
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) December 11, 2021
A scuffle then broke out past the full-time whistle which Rudiger was heavily involved in along with ex-Barcelona fullback Junior Firpo representing the Yorkshiremen.
It got HEATED after full-time at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea take all three points with a late penalty! pic.twitter.com/CPzrWY9lmE
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 11, 2021
The German was heavily criticized for “getting stuck in now after he’s thrown himself to the floor all game,” and “acting like a big, tough man” only when the match had finished.
But others approved of the confrontation in general saying that it was “exactly what you want to see”.
“All this hugging and laughing and joking with each other nonsense has to stop. Show a bit of heart and passion,” it was demanded.
“Proper football played in the right way with the right emotions. Love to see it.”
Supporters of the title challengers bickered among themselves on social media, but the irony in this had to be pointed out as all three of Chelsea, City and Liverpool had decisive penalties awarded to them on Saturday afternoon.
All of the top three winning with penalties today.
All of the final decisions, at the least, debatable.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) December 11, 2021
Man City: 1-0 win (penalty)
Liverpool: 1-0 win (penalty)
Chelsea: 3-2 win (two penalties)
The Premier League’s top three all win from the spot ✅ pic.twitter.com/KZU3QG9G75
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 11, 2021
In the early kick-off, Pep Guardiola’s charges struggled to dispatch a Wolves outfit reduced to 10 men thanks to Raul Jimenez’s bizarre 31-second double booking.
On 66 minutes, however, Raheem Sterling converted a dubious penalty given after the ball smashed Joao Moutinho in the armpit.
The top three moaning about each others’ penalties pic.twitter.com/bYvdR34jYh
— Sam Lee (@SamLee) December 11, 2021
Over at Anfield, Steven Gerrard’s return should have been the main talking point in a meeting between the team now manages, Aston Villa, and boyhood club Liverpool.
And while Tyrone Mings was at fault for clipping Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian is not known for being the most honest player when it comes to winning penalties and did once more here before sealing another 1-0 win for the Liverpool from the spot. Additionally, Gerrard also felt that Salah fouled Mings first.
With Saturday’s developments it stayed tight at the top as a usually decisive packed Christmas and New Year calendar which separates the men from the boys approaches.