Thiago Silva somehow avoided a red card for a ridiculous handball, as Chelsea took on Crystal Palace, before setting up a goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Graham Potter took charge of his first Premier League game as Chelsea boss on Saturday afternoon, coming up against a Palace team he was very familiar with, having previously managed their rivals Brighton.
It wasn’t an ideal start for the team, or the manager, as they found themselves 1-0 down to Odsonne Edouard’s goal, just seven minutes into the game.
The striker started the move by passing to Jordan Ayew and continuing his run into the box, before getting it back from his teammate’s cross and knocking it home past Kepa Arrizabalaga, making his first league start of the season.
The last thing that Potter’s side would have needed at that point was going a man down, and they were lucky not to thanks to Silva’s bizarre decision making.
The defender was fairly knocked off the ball by Ayew, who had a clear run to goal with the defender down, but the Brazilian managed to stop him.
Silva put his arm out to stop the ball, as if to claim he should be getting a free kick for being bundled over by Palace forward, but the referee gave a yellow card.
Despite being some way out from goal, fans couldn’t believe that the former PSG centre back wasn’t sent for an early bath by the VAR official.
Palace chairman Steve Parish certainly felt the decision should have gone more in his side’s favour, taking to social media to post his displeasure.
“Honestly what is the point of VAR we chop and change every week what it does what it thinks,” he took to social media to complain.
“VAR must surely think that’s a red but not a ‘clear’ error!
“Even if it’s not denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, which it is, he handballs it twice deliberately, one we play on so two yellows!”
As often is the case when these things happened, Silva inevitably had a big impact on the game just five minutes later, as Chelsea equalised.
The Brazilian headed a Reece James cross into the path of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the former Arsenal forward striking home.
Silva’s non red card was the second controversial VAR incident in a London derby of the day, after Emerson Royal’s sending off in the game between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the day.
On that occasion, some fans felt the full back was unlucky to be sent off, with VAR failing to overturn Anthony Taylor’s initial decision.