Michael Owen told Premier League Productions (28/08/21 at 6:30 pm) that Jorden Henderson was ‘to blame’ for the melee that ensued between Liverpool and Chelsea players at Anfield on Saturday evening.
When Reece James was sent off for using his arm in a deliberate fashion to prevent a goalscoring opportunity, it caused chaos out on the field, at the break and after full-time.
Nonetheless, after James’ sending off, the penalty was then awarded, and as per, Mohamed Salah did the usual.
But as the ball hit the back of the net, Henderson ran towards it to pick it up, only to be met by a surging Edouard Mendy at the same time and he kicked the ball onto the Liverpool player as he was trying to clear it.
Mendy was booked for his actions by referee Anthony Taylor, but Owen thinks it was Henderson who was at fault, as he labelled his actions as ‘unnecessary’.
“I thought this was unnecessary,” said Owen. “Henderson was to blame I thought in many ways.
“Mendy got the yellow card. But Henderson went to get the ball out and almost caused the melee.”
In truth, both players had every right to go for the ball and it was just a case of tempers already being at a high then reaching fever pitch after that incident.
Players have on many occasions before looked to pick the ball up straight after a penalty has been scored.
But equally, goalkeepers or outfield players have on occasions walloped the ball seconds after a penalty has been converted.
Either way, in perhaps the first Premier League title battle of the new season, both Liverpool and Chelsea showcased a highly-charged event.