The Blues won the tie 2-1, but the victory was overshadowed with the dismissal of two players during a three minute spell near the close of the first half.
Cesar Azpilicueta was dismissed five minutes before the interval for a badly timed two-footed lunge on Mile Jedinak, while Damien Delaney was shown a second yellow card just three minutes later for tugging back Loic Remy.
Both cards were deserved when observed, with both tackles rash rather than malicious, but Delaney’s certainly paled in comparison to that committed by Azpilicueta. Although he was already on a booking, his tug on Remy’s shirt was not preventing a clear goalscoring opportunity, and Eagles goalkeeper Julian Speroni feels as if the referee may have rushed into his decision to dismiss Delaney in the heated aftermath of the Spaniard’s red card.
Speaking to Your Local Guardian, the 35-year-old said: “It looked like a soft red card for me but he was on a yellow and he forced the referee into making a decision.
“After they had a man sent off the referee will sometimes make a decision a little earlier than they should.”
Despite losing by a one-goal margin at the time of Azpilicueta’s sending off, the Eagles would have been hoping to take advantage of their extra man on the field, but the advantage was removed three minutes later and Speroni admitted that sometimes football can be controlled by off-pitch matters - such as fate.
He added: “We could have taken advantage of that situation but that is football - sometimes fate takes away those possibilities.
“The manager wasn’t happy with the performance of the referee but that is football and we just need to bounce back next week.”
The Blues provide their dominance with both teams down to 10 men, with Cesc Fabregas killing the game off by finishing off a fluid team move in the second half.