Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham called Chelsea’s repeat penalty, which knocked his side out of the Champions League on Tuesday, a “joke”.
The second leg of the last 16 tie at Stamford Bridge was nicely settled at 1-1 on aggregate, with the Blues winning 1-0 on the night through a Raheem Sterling goal as Ben Chilwell’s cross hit Marius Wolf’s hand early in the second half.
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Referee Danny Makkelle was sent to the monitor by VAR officer Pol Van Boekel to review the incident and subsequently awarded a spot kick which Kai Havertz missed by hitting the post.
However, another VAR review found that several Dortmund players had entered the penalty area before Havertz had struck the ball, prompting Makkelle to order a replay, which the Germany international converted to send his side into the quarter-finals on aggregate at 2-1.
“I’m not sure what else he can do with his hand,” Bellingham said after the game in the first handball call. “That in itself was disappointing and the fact that they’ve got a replay I think it’s a joke.
“For every penalty, especially when you have a slow run like that, there’s going to be people pushing into the box by a yard or so. He’s made the decision and we have to live with it.”
Asked to elaborate on the judge, Bellingham added, “I don’t want to get in trouble. I’ve paid them enough.”
The result is a huge boost for under-fire Chelsea boss Graham Potter, whose side, who have now recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since October, are 10th in the Premier League.
Potter endured criticism from a section of Chelsea fans, saying: “Inevitably, in life, you’re going to have bad times and good times. I can’t see any other way of looking at it. It’s how you react to bad times get some perspective and analyze it the right way things are never bad forever but it felt like that sometimes!
“My job is to help the team, help the players, prepare the team as well as we could and support them. They have also suffered. Nobody has enjoyed the run we have had. That is why today was important for us. We wanted to advance , and we have, so we’re happy.”