‘The man of the match was the referee’: Rennes president Nicolas Holveck launches extraordinary rant after Ligue 1 side’s defeat by Chelsea as he blasts decision to send off Dalbert and failure to award penalty for Kurt Zouma handball
- Dalbert was harshly sent off after a Tammy Abraham shot deflected onto his arm
- The Brazilian had already been booked after fouling Timo Werner in the box
- Felix Zwayer then gave Dalbert his marching order after visiting the monitor
- But Rennes president Nicolas Holveck launched a stunning attack on Zwayer
Rennes president Nicolas Holveck has launched an extraordinary attack on German referee Felix Zwayer after the French side’s Champions League defeat by Chelsea.
The visitors were harshly reduced to 10 men in the first half of their 3-0 defeat when Dalbert received a second yellow card after a block on Tammy Abraham’s shot saw the ball deflect onto his raised arm.
The Brazilian had already been booked after conceding a penalty by fouling Timo Werner – who stepped up to score – and he was soon sent off after Zwayer visited the pitchside monitor before awarding another penalty and brandishing a red card for the Rennes defender.
Rennes president Nicolas Holveck has launched an extraordinary attack on the referee for his performance in their defeat by Chelsea
Defender Dalbert was harshly sent off in the first half of their 3-0 Champions League defeat
Werner stepped up again to put the Blues 2-0 up, and speaking to RMC Sport and Telefoot via L’Equipe after the game, Holveck launched a stunning tirade and furiously questioned why Kurt Zouma had not been penalised for handball in the opening stages while appearing to pin the outcome of the result on the referee.
‘I am very proud of the coach. We should not be ashamed despite the score,’ Holveck said.
‘But there is more than disappointment, there is frustration. The man of the match was the referee.
‘I would like them to explain to me the handball rules inside the box. If there is a handball from Dalbert while the ball has already touched his foot, what about the handball from Zouma? VAR wakes up for our [handball] but not theirs.
Dalbert received a second yellow card after Tammy Abraham’s shot deflected onto his arm
Felix Zwayer visited the pitchside monitor after the incident four minutes before half time
‘And on top of that he gives a second yellow with that. We can be frustrated, more than frustrated. The result, it was the referee who made it.
‘The match is killed at 2-0 while Alfred [Gomis, Rennes’ goalkeeper] has not had a save to make. We were certainly refereed like the newbie, and that is difficult to accept.
‘You have less weight over the referee when you are Rennes than when you are Chelsea. When the referee has a good match, in general, you do not speak about him.
‘But I think we are going to speak a lot about him this evening. Even the English media are unanimous in saying that it is a little scandal. Sleep will be hard to find.’
And the German referee decided to send Dalbert off and award a second penalty of the night
Holveck was indignant the penalty was given while Kurt Zouma’s handball was waved away
Rennes coach Julian Stephan was similarly baffled by the awarding of the second penalty four minutes before half-time.
‘Unless the rule has changed and we weren’t aware I don’t know why he decided to give handball for this,’ Stephan said. ‘When you give a second yellow for this kind of thing it kills the game. So there’s misunderstanding in actual fact.
‘Why do we check that and not the handball from Zouma? There’s some misunderstanding but I don’t want to go into conspiracy-theory thinking.
‘It was a turning point in the game, it makes it difficult against a team like Chelsea who have good players in every position, with the numerical disadvantage.
Dalbert had already been booked after conceding a penalty after fouling Timo Werner
Timo Werner dispatched both penalties and Holveck was left fuming after Rennes’ defeat
‘My players were remarkable in the last 20 minutes to put pressure and try to score a goal. I’m disappointed for them that it went the way it did.’
BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand also fumed over the decision, admitting he had been left bewildered by the decision.
‘This is an absolute disgrace. The kid doesn’t intentionally block the ball with his hands. The referee goes over to the screen, deliberates and still gives it. It baffles me,’ Ferdinand said.
Rennes coach Julian Stephan was similarly baffled by the awarding of the second penalty
Rio Ferdinand was angry at the award and couldn’t see what Dalbert could do in that position
‘It’s a joke. It’s that close that he’s only going to block the ball with his feet.
‘He ruined the game for me. I was absolutely flabbergasted. Then the red card topped it all off.’
Chelsea forward Abraham, who was heavily involved in the Dalbert sending off, netted a third for the Blues in the second half to confirm their second win of the group stages.
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