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Why was Kai Havertz not sent off for his elbow on Dan Burn in Chelsea vs Newcastle?

16:21 WAT 13/03/2022
Kai Havertz Dan Burn Chelsea vs Newcastle Premier League 2021-22
The German forward caught the Magpies defender when challenging for a high ball, but escaped with only a yellow card

Kai Havertz found himself at the centre of a controversial incident during Chelsea’s clash with Newcastle at Stamford Bridge, with the German forward catching Premier League rival Dan Burn with a raised elbow.

A coming together between the Blues attacker and Magpies defender occurred five minutes before half-time of an entertaining encounter that delivered plenty of passion despite chances proving hard to come by at both ends of the field.

Havertz was allowed to stay on the pitch after tangling with Burn, but questions were asked of whether a man with Champions League and Club World Cup-winning goals to his name should have been shown a red card.

What happened with Havertz and Burn?

Both men looked to challenge for a high ball in the 40th minute of a keenly-fought contest in west London – in what was Chelsea’s first outing on home soil since club owner Roman Abramovich saw his assets frozen by the UK government.

Towering Newcastle defender Burn was always favourite to emerge victorious in an aerial challenge, given his height advantage, but Havertz was never going to give up the fight.

He flung himself towards the ball, but led with his arm and kept an elbow raised when coming into contact with Burn.

Having caught Burn with the point of his arm, leaving the Magpies’ January signing requiring treatment and sporting a nasty bump, a yellow card was flashed in Havertz’s direction by match referee David Coote.

There was a VAR review as Newcastle players called for harsher punishment, but the on-field call stood.

That is because video technology did not consider a clear and obvious error to have been made, leaving Havertz free to remain on the field.

What has been said?

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher was on co-commentary duty for Sky Sports at the time of the incident and said: “You look at Havertz's arm there. It doesn't look great. Yellow card is probably right.

“It's similar to the Sadio Mane one against Cesar Azpilicueta. It fits into that category of a little more than a yellow and not quite a red.”

Another former Reds star, Jamie Redknapp, said during the half-time break: “I think it’s a very dangerous challenge by Havertz.

“You have to use your arms for elevation [but] his elbow is high and he catches him on the side of his face. He could have fractured his cheekbone.”

Ex-Chelsea frontman Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink agreed with Redknapp, saying Havertz had been a bit “naughty”, but former Manchester City defender Micah Richards was of the opinion that the Chelsea frontman meant no harm and had not gone out of his way to tag Burn.

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