Wednesday night saw Chelsea dealt a huge blow in their race for the top four as they could only muster a 1-1 draw with a Huddersfield side that secured their top-flight status for next term.
One of the big talking points of the game, especially the first half, was the visitors’ continuous time-wasting tactics. This led to unrest amongst the home supporters, which spilt onto the pitch and saw the Blues players confronting Lee Mason about his failure to punish the repeat offenders.
In the aftermath of the game, Chelsea have been charged with failure to control their players by the FA, leaving them with five days to appeal the decision. The incident specifically in question was when Antonio Conte’s men surrounded the Premier League referee after he didn’t allow them to take a corner they had won in first-half stoppage time.
As players from both sides walked towards the tunnel after the half-time whistle had blown, several men in blue shirts went over to Mason disputing the decision to prematurely bring the half to a close. The behaviour of last year’s champions was inexcusable and the punishment is right within the laws of the FA but the frustration is completely justified.
Time was added on at the end of the first half and within that, there was a further stoppage, which meant that more should have been added on top of that. That corner was then awarded at the end of the original time, meaning there should have been adequate time for it to be delivered. However, the anger arose when Lee Mason decided to end the half when the hosts set up for the set-piece.
Regardless of the time wasting, Chelsea should’ve had too much quality to overcome Huddersfield in such a big match; a perfect way to sum up what will end as a poor campaign for Conte and his players.