CHELSEA players, Mauricio Pochettino and fans were left fuming after referee Jarred Gillett seemingly blew a minute early for half-time against Aston Villa.
Fourth official Simon Hooper had signalled that three minutes extra should have been played in an action-packed first half.
ReutersMauricio Pochettino, Chelsea players and fans were left furious when referee Jarred Gillett seemingly blew a minute early for half-time[/caption]
Chelsea fans had already been frustrated with perceived time wasting from the away side and were even more incensed when the whistle went early.
Australian referee Jarred Gillett blew the whistle before even two added minutes had even been played – leading to a huge chorus of boos around the ground in west London.
Multiple Chelsea players went to speak with Gillett, while Blues boss Poch walked halfway across the pitch and could be seen speaking all the way back into the tunnel and beyond.
Twitter account CFCDaily summed up the feelings of many Chelsea fans, writing: “Do the rules just get thrown in the bin when Chelsea games get played?
“Villa players constantly surrounding the referee & now blows up the whistle 65 seconds early of his own added time.”
The game was 0-0 at half-time with Nicolas Jackson wasting a decent chance and Chelsea keeper Sanchez making two incredible saves from Lucas Digne and Nicola Zainolo.
However, things went from bad to worse for Chelsea as Malo Gusto was sent off just before the hour for a high tackle, with Gillett again becoming the target for Chelsea fan anger.
The referee checked the VAR monitor before brandishing a straight red card to the defender.
With the Blues down to ten men Aston Villa smelt blood of a team low on confidence.
Robert Sanchez had already made two world-class saves but could do nothing when Villa pounced on an uncharacteristic Thiago Silva error and broke forward with Ollie Watkins.
Watkins drove into the box and fired a brilliant low effort across goal and into the bottom corner.