Chelsea cannot escape Anthony Taylor, it seems.
Even players leaving on loan have been affected by the referee after Callum Hudson-Odoi’s first Bayer Leverkusen goal was chalked out by VAR.
The winger was playing his third Champions League match in a row, starting them all and playing until beyond 80 minutes in each as well, but wasn’t able to help his teammates to a second win in Group B, leaving it all to play for after three matches.
Hudson-Odoi, who has had a bright start to life in Germany, is playing consistent football at Leverkusen and is being given the chance to prove himself.
In seven matches in all competitions so far he has only notched up the one assist but he is looking much more confident than the player Chelsea saw for large periods last term.
Playing in a more central role, Hudson-Odoi is harnessing his dribbling skills and direct approach play to help his new teammates. Unfortunately that has been a struggle with just one win in eight league matches and Leverkusen sitting second bottom of Bundesliga. They have scored only nine goals.
It looked like the right decision after seeing replays and now Hudson-Odoi will have to wait to get his first goal. It came amid typical Taylor controversy after Leverkusen conceded but were then awarded a penalty at the other end instead, which was subsequently missed in dramatic fashion. They would the concede two second half goals and fall to a 2-0 away defeat.
As for Taylor, he was on the right side of the Hudson-Odoi decision this time but still isn’t a welcomed figure at Stamford Bridge after a string of high-profile decisions Chelsea fans hold against him, most recently the decision to not punish Cristian Romero for pulling Marc Cucurella’s hair in the fierce 2-2 draw with Tottenham when Thomas Tuchel was manager.
Tuchel’s criticism of Taylor got him into trouble following the match. And while Hudson-Odoi’s reaction wasn’t as strong, Chelsea fans will silently add this to their Taylor list.