FA cup woes: Is referee Anthony Taylor Arsenal’s blessing or Chelsea’s curse??

Center Referee Anthony Taylor on Saturday night at Wembley stadium in London, took charge of the FA cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea.

At the highly charged match, Arsenal saw a repeat of the year 2017, when they met the same opponents, at the same venue with the same referee being in charge.

The 41 year old Taylor from Wythenshawe in the UK, made history for being the first center referee to be in charge of two FA cup finals in his lifetime, thanks to the Corona virus pandemic. History, traditions and rules can change.

His first was in 2017, a fete that also saw Frenchman Arsene Wenger being crowned as the most successful manager in FA cup history, when he won his seventh FA cup and 13th of Arsenal football club.

The fateful night could not be forgotten as Antonio Conte was aiming to win a double for the blues. The Italian was on good course, but his unlucky side went down two goals to one.

Manchester United’s outcast Alexis Sanchez who won the man of the match on that night opened the score sheet as early as the fifth minute. That controversial goal was overruled by Taylor after the first assistant referee had flagged it as an offside when Aaron Ramsey seemed to have interfered with it.

Lord Taylor made sure that everyone at Wembley respected his decision and the goal stood.

Nigerian right back Victor Moses was sent to get an early shower by Taylor in the second half. Moses got his second yellow card of the match for an alleged diving incident, and it seemed that the unfair gods of football were a little bit harsh especially to the Italian gaffer whose main agenda was to make a name in England.

Despite Diego Costa equalizing, Ramsey finished it off and Arsenal were crowned champions in a night that Chelsea’s fans cursed Anthony Taylor for his decisions.

On Saturday at Wembley, Christian Pulisic gave Chelsea an early lead at fifth minute as Chelsea took control of the game.

Gabonese captain Aubemeyang equalized from the spot kick mid first half and the game seemed fair and square as the two city rivals came back in the second half.

Anthony Taylor booked Mateo Kovacic for his second yellow card and sent him to the showers. A closer look at the incident shows that Kovacic’s foot was under Granit Xhaka, meaning that he was actually fouled as opposed to him fouling his opponent.

Aubemeyang made it two and became the first African to captain a side that has won a major trophy in England. His second goal seemed to have been out of reach for the blues. They just could not catch up after Mateo’s second booking.

Though you can also argue that Lampard’s side was unlucky. They lost goal scorer Pulisic and captain Azpilicueta through injuries. The English coach also later admitted that his side played poorly in the second half.

But to the fans, center referee Anthony Taylor, the unfair god of football and the lord of Wembley, might just be a blessing to one and a curse to another. You be the judge.

By Shadrack Andenga Odinga


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