Football pundit Paul Robinson has slammed Leeds United forward Daniel James for a reckless tackle on Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic which also got him sent off during their Premier League clash.
The Blues romped to a 3-0 win at Elland Road on Wednesday night as goals from Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku sunk The Peacocks further into the relegation scramble.
Jesse Marsh’s side remain in 18th place with 34 points, but the defeat opens up a chance for Burnley to put some daylight between them if they’re able to get something against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
Leeds were already trailing 1-0 from Mount’s fifth-minute opener when James decided to throw caution to the wind and hack down Kovacic.
Referee Anthony Taylor had a clear view of the moment and didn’t hesitate to pull out a red card, reducing the hosts to 10 men, which made their task of coming back into the match harder.
Robinson, a former Leeds goalkeeper, ripped into James for the foul, even calling it “indefensible”. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live (via HITC), he said:
“Dan James had no reason to make such a strong challenge in that area of the pitch. It’s a terrible looking challenge. There’s no need to make that tackle. You have to keep your emotions in check. It’s indefensible.”
Leeds put up strong resistance for the remainder of the half but Chelsea’s pressure eventually paid off, with Pulisic doubling their lead10 minutes into the restart and Lukaku putting the final nail in their coffin during the closing stages.
James will now miss their last two games of the season against Brighton and Brentford, while Kovacic is now a major doubt for Chelsea’s FA Cup final against Liverpool this Saturday.
Chelsea dealt another blow ahead of Liverpool clash
Chelsea will likely be without Kovacic for their FA Cup showpiece against Liverpool in a huge blow for Tuchel.
The Croatian has been on an excellent run of form this season and the Blues will have their task cut out in his absence.
His injury also comes just 24 hours after Fabinho picked up an injury during Liverpool’s clash with Aston Villa, with the Brazilian now set to miss their Wembley showdown too.
Tuchel, who’s already missing N’Golo Kante, received a boost following Jorginho’s return, but with Kovacic now ruled out, he might have tto play Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield in Saturday’s clash against Liverpool.