Lee Mason

Lee Mason slated following Dawson’s horror challenge on Zappacosta

Viewers of the clash between Chelsea and West Brom this evening have taken to social media in their numbers to slate referee Lee Mason, after the official failed to even award a free-kick to Chelsea for Craig Dawson’s horror challenge on Davide Zappacosta.

Matchup

The two sides are currently locked in action at Stamford Bridge, with Antonio Conte’s men desperate for all 3 points following a dismal run of form which saw the Blues fall to consecutive 3-goal defeats at the hands of Bournemouth and Watford.

Tonight’s result could prove particularly decisive regarding Antonio Conte’s future in the English capital, with widespread claims over the last week that a loss will see the Italian tactician sacked by Chelsea.

West Brom, meanwhile, have fallen to defeats in their last 2 Premier League outings, the latter of which came in hugely disappointing fashion at home to fellow strugglers Southampton.

Ahead of tonight, the Baggies sat rock bottom of the English top-flight table, a full 5 points behind 19th-placed Stoke City.

Teams

The lineups for tonight’s crucial matchup were announced an hour prior to kick-off, with a number of notable inclusions and absences for hosts Chelsea.

Andreas Christensen returned to the heart of the Blues’ defence following a spell on the sidelines, while Olivier Giroud earned his first start for the Premier League champions up front.

Cesc Fabregas was also included from the start, stepping in for the suspended Tiemoue Bakayoko, while Alvaro Morata was fit enough for a place on the Chelsea bench.

However, Marcos Alonso was a notable absentee, with the Spaniard having been a surprise late scratch from the Blues’ squad for their clash with Watford last week as a ‘precautionary measure’.


West Brom boss Alan Pardew, meanwhile, opted for the following, with Daniel Sturridge joining Salomon Rondon in a dangerous-looking forward line for the Baggies:

Crocked

However, in a massive blow for the visitors with just 2 minutes on the clock, Danny Sturridge went to ground clutching his hamstring following an innocuous challenge from Cesar Azpilicueta, with the 28-year-old eventually succumbing to the problem and making his way down the Stamford Bridge tunnel with frustration etched across his face.

Leg-breaking challenge

And there could very easily have been a second injury soon after, albeit this time for Chelsea, as Craig Dawson flew into an absolutely disgraceful challenge on Blues’ wing-back Davide Zappacosta in the 9th-minute.

As can be seen from the image above, Dawson completely missed the ball and connected high with his studs on the knee of Zappacosta in a tackle worthy of a red card and a 3-match ban.

However, referee Lee Mason and his officials somehow conspired to completely miss the incident, with Chelsea having not even been awarded a free-kick.

It should also be noted that Mason missed a huge shout for a West Brom penalty during the early moments of the clash, as Cesc Fabregas lunged into a dangerous challenge of his own in Chelsea’s box.

Reaction

Unsurprisingly, viewers of tonight’s clash have since taken to Twitter in their numbers to slate Mason, with a roundup of the highlights below:

Alan Shearer: ‘Stupid’ Chelsea right to follow Watford’s model

Why Borussia Dortmund don’t have an option on Chelsea’s Batshuayi

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