Willian of Fulham and Malo Gusto of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Fulham FC at Stamford Bridge on January 13, 2024.
Fulham winger Willian and Chelsea defender Malo Gusto.

Marco Silva frustrated by key red card decision as Chelsea beat Fulham

Fulham boss Marco Silva believes Chelsea defender Malo Gusto should have received his marching orders during Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge. 

The Blues won 1-0 after Cole Palmer converted from the spot in first-half injury time. It is for the fifth time the former Manchester City player has scored a penalty in the Premier League this season.

But the hosts were lucky not to be reduced to ten men in the 38th minute after Gusto connected with Willian’s ankle when trying to go for the ball. The 20-year-old received a booking for the foul, but Silva insists it warranted a red card.

“It was a derby, there was a lot of challenges,” the Portuguese told TNT Sports. “The referee started the game as he does normally, letting the game flow, as a derby should be. Chelsea started better than us but after the first 15 minutes we started to balance the game, both sides had moments. After that we started to create some problems.

“We have to talk about the red card for Gusto, it was clear. It is hard to see how things aren’t consistent at the level that we’re at. This is the Premier league. In 10 of those moments, nine times it is a red card. It is a clear red card for me. VAR checked and this time they didn’t give.

“We tried to react in the second half. They had chances, we had chances. The game was more open and they had more space to show their quality. We showed a big, big fight until the end. Wednesday was so intense and this was another one. I have no words for my players. The support was great too. We fought until the end.”

Silva continued: “I haven’t spoken to the officials. I don’t want to say what the fourth official said. He has the same opinion as me but it is not for him to say, it is for the VAR to decide. It is a normal decision from the referee but the help should come from the VAR.

“It is a difficult one to take and a frustrating result for us. We always want to fight and we fought again. We took more risks in the second half and became more open. The game was really balanced when they got their penalty. The VAR decision made a huge impact on the game.”

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