Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham called Chelsea‘s retaken penalty, which knocked his team out of the Champions League on Tuesday, a “joke.”
The round-of-16 second leg at Stamford Bridge was finely poised at 1-1 on aggregate with the Blues winning 1-0 on the night through a Raheem Sterling goal when Ben Chilwell‘s cross struck Marius Wolf‘s hand early in the second half.
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Referee Danny Makkelle was sent to the monitor by VAR official Pol Van Boekel to review the incident and subsequently awarded a spot kick, which Kai Havertz missed by hitting the post.
However, another VAR review found several Dortmund players had encroached into the penalty area before Havertz had struck the ball, prompting Makkelle to order a retake, which the Germany international converted to send his team into the quarterfinals by a 2-1 aggregate score.
“I’m not sure what more he can do with his hand,” Bellingham said after the match of the initial handball call. “That in itself was disappointing and the fact that they’ve had a retake, I think it’s a joke.
“For every penalty, especially when you have such a slow run-up, there’s going to be people encroaching into the box by a yard or so. He’s made the decision and we have to live with it.”
Asked to go into further detail on the officiating, Bellingham added: “I don’t want to get in trouble. I’ve paid enough to them lot.”
The result is a huge boost for under-fire Chelsea head coach Graham Potter, whose team, which has now recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since October, sits 10th in the Premier League.
Potter endured criticism from a section of Chelsea fans and he said: “Inevitably, in life, you’re going to have bad times and good times. I don’t see any other way to look at it. It’s how you react to the bad times, get some perspective and analyse it in the correct way. Things are never bad forever, but it felt like that sometimes!
“My job is to help the team, help the players, prepare the team as well as we could and to support them. They’ve been suffering as well. Nobody has enjoyed the run we’ve had. That’s why today was important for us. We wanted to progress, and we have, so we’re happy.”