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Chelsea’s Reece James charged by FA for tunnel altercation in Aston Villa defeat

The Blues captain wasn’t even playing, but somehow overstepped the mark

Chelsea defender Reece James has been charged by the FA for an altercation with the match officials following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa, despite not actually being a part of Mauricio Pochettino’s matchday squad for the clash.

The 23-year-old fullback has played just 75 minutes of Premier League football this season, with a hamstring injury picked up in the season opener against Liverpool continuing to rule him out of helping the Blues turn round a disastrous start to the season.

Currently 14th, they suffered another defeat at the hands of European hopefuls Aston Villa as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge courtesy of a Ollie Watkins goal.

It was not a game without controversy, with James’ replacement Malo Gusto seeing red for a high tackle despite winning the ball first, something that left plenty of onlookers incensed.

On Wednesday evening, it emerged that James had also been to give the referee a piece of his mind after the game. As per an FA Statement, ‘It is alleged that the defender used improper and/or insulting and/or abusive words and/or behaviour towards a match official in the tunnel after the game.’

James, they added, has until Friday to respond to the charges, though the likely outcome for the defender will be a fine were he to be found guilty rather than any on-the-pitch ban.

As it stands, Axel Disasi is the favourite to fill in at right-back for the Blues, with Thiago Silva partnering one of Levi Colwill or the returning Benoit Badiashile in the heart of defence.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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