Rio Ferdinand demands rule change to punish ‘reckless’ Chelsea star | Football

Chelsea were lucky to avoid being reduced to 10 men (Pictures: TNT Sports)

Rio Ferdinand has slammed the officials for missing Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson’s ‘reckless’ tackle on Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu and believes VAR should be able to recommend yellow cards.

The Gunners took an early lead in Tuesday evening’s Premier League clash at the Emirates, with Leandro Trossard firing in at the near post after just four minutes.

Things could have got even worse for Chelsea just moments later, with Jackson lunging in on Tomiyasu in the ninth minute and catching him high on the ankle, studs up, with a very late challenge.

Although a free-kick was awarded by referee Simon Hooper, no further action was taken and play continued after a very brief check by VAR.

But former Manchester United defender Ferdinand was incredulous with the lack of intervention from VAR afterwards and feels the rules should be adjusted so bad tackles can still be punished with a yellow card even if the VAR decides it is not worthy of a red.

Asked if Jackson was lucky to stay on the pitch, Ferdinand said on TNT Sports: ‘We all couldn’t believe it wasn’t even looked at by VAR.

‘We couldn’t believe it. We’ve seen so many incidents this season as bad, or not even anywhere near as bad as this, and you think to yourself, wow, they’ve been sent off.

‘This was a reckless challenge I thought.’

Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson avoids red card for tackle on Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu

Jackson escaped a booking for his challenge on Tomiyasu (Picture: TNT Sports)
Jackson missed two gilt-edged chances at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)

When it was confirmed to Ferdinand that the tackle had been checked and cleared by VAR, Ferdinand replied: ‘Wow. Well I’d love them to come and explain that to me, please.’

Fellow pundit Martin Keown chimed in: ‘That stunning. I think we saw Arteta get booked later in the game, I think maybe he was complaining that Trossard was booked but we see that [the Jackson challenge] and he hasn’t even been booked for it, it’s incredible.’

When it was then said that a yellow card cannot be recommended by VAR, Ferdinand said: ‘That’s where a rule change needs to happen then.

‘Because you can’t say that’s OK. That’s reckless!’

Joe Cole added of the incident: ‘He [Jackson] was frustrated at this time of the game, this was the first 10 minutes. This is where the referees have to have an understanding of football.

‘Chelsea had a terrible start, they’re losing, Jackson was not in the game. They [the referees] need to understand that.’

A yellow card for Jackson would have seen him reach 10 bookings for the season, resulting in a two-game ban that would rule him out of matches against Aston Villa and Tottenham.

Arsenal, meanwhile, struck two quick-fire goals after the restart, with braces from Kai Havertz and Ben White seeing them take a five-goal lead.

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