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Cesar Azpilicueta Delivers Verdict on Reece James' Red Card During Liverpool Draw

Harsh, very harsh.

Cesar Azpilicueta believes Reece James' sending off versus Liverpool was 'very harsh' after Chelsea held onto a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

Chelsea took the lead against Jurgen Klopp's side in the 22nd minute as Reece James' cross was met by Kai Havertz who looped his header over Alisson into the far corner.

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But Chelsea were reduced to 10 men in first half stoppage time after Reece James handled on the line to deny Sadio Mane, which saw Anthony Taylor go to the VAR monitor and reverse his initial decision.

Mohamed Salah converted the penalty and despite being down a man for the whole second half, Chelsea earned a point to continue their unbeaten start to the 2021/22 Premier League season.

Azpilicueta was seen during the game voicing his displeasure at the decision and gave his thoughts post-match to Sky Sports.

What Cesar Azpilicueta said

"First of all, the action, yeah - naturally he goes with the arm. The ref gets the information from the VAR, he just goes and sees one image and it's enough for him to give a penalty and red card.

"We get two yellow cards from our defensive guys. Liverpool gave two free kicks, dangerous for us. I could expect the same kind of [punishment]. We had to cope with this.

"I think it's good we talk to the referees and they can explain the situation. VAR is there to help everybody. I feel sorry for Reece, it was very harsh. We had to fight as a team." 

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He added: "The handball rule, we had a meeting, it's difficult. The ball is on the line. I understand the arm is a bit further from the body, but you can't run without the arms. For a defender it's very difficult and tricky.

"We turned our mentality [at half-time], we said: 'let's adapt, fight as a team' and that's what we did."

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