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Blind says Chelsea right to be angry: Ref should know about Xhaka antics

Former Holland coach Danny Blind says Chelsea should feel aggrieved after their FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

Arsenal won 2-1 in Saturday's Cup final at Wembley thanks to a brace from captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gunners striker scoring both his goals after Christian Pulisic had put Chelsea ahead on the day.

Among a series of flashpoints was the dismissal of Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic. With Chelsea chasing the game and desperately seeking an equaliser, Kovacic was shown a second yellow card by ref Anthony Taylor for a foul on Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and so was sent off on 73 minutes.

Watching on was Blind, the former Holland and Ajax coach, working as an analyst for Ziggo Sport.

And Blind insists Kovacic did not deserve his dismissal after being booked a second time for his clash with Xhaka.

Referring to ref Taylor, Blind, quoted by Voetbalzone, said: "I like English referees, because sometimes they allow something more to make it a match.

"I thought Taylor had a lot of moments when he was just not doing well. At that moment I think Kovacic gets a bit screwed (by Xhaka). Xhaka is just a little bit sooner, so you tend to say that Kovacic crosses over the ball and stands on Xhaka's ankle. But if you see it in slow motion you can also turn it around, that Xhaka is just a little too late.

"I sometimes wonder if referees know players well enough. Xhaka does this: he rolls, he provokes. I think you should be able to delve into it as a referee. You can sit next to it, because it is all about a split second. I can also imagine that the VAR does not intervene here. But it paralysed the game more or less."

Arsenal's victory on Saturday qualifies them for next season's Europa League.


- updated August 3


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Paul Vegas

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