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Ruben Loftus-Cheek described himself as “stunned” after Chelsea were denied a late penalty after the ball struck Tomas Soucek’s hand in the box.
Late in the game at the London Stadium, the Blues were heaping pressure on West Ham United, and Conor Gallagher struck from just outside the area, hitting Soucek’s hand. Despite VAR reviewing the situation, it was ruled not to be a foul, and the game ended 1-1.
“We’re all shocked about what we thought was a handball in the closing minutes. I didn’t see much from the bench at the time, but seeing the replay it was clear to me it was a handball for stopping a shot at goal,” Loftus-Cheek said to Chelsea’s official media team following the game on Saturday.
Potter Believes it Should have been a Penalty
Graham Potter evidently thought it was a penalty as well, with the Chelsea head coach praising Soucek’s “excellent save” after the game. Potter, on the other hand, avoided discussing the incident.
“I thought it was a good save so you need your goalkeeper sometimes to get you the points,” the Chelsea manager said cheekily. “It hasn’t been given so there’s nothing for me to say.
“I’ve only seen it briefly as I walked across,”: he added, “It looks like one of those where if it was given I don’t think it would be overturned but it hasn’t been given, so I don’t know.”
Chelsea are a Team in Transition
Chelsea remain in ninth place and are now 10 points behind Newcastle United, who hold the final Champions League spot. With so many players coming in over the last two transfer windows, there is an acceptance around Stamford Bridge that the team is in transition.
“I’ve never had this kind of feeling before with so many new players coming in,” Loftus-Cheek added, “We need to embrace it; it’s happened for the better.
“The quicker we can get these boys to settle in and gel, the quicker we can start performing better. But believe me, we’re not taking these draws and losses and that’s it,” he explained.
“We’re hurt when we lose or draw. We’re taking every necessary step to win.”
Chelsea v Dortmund
Chelsea’s next match is in the Champions League Round of 16 against Borussia Dortmund. The opening leg of the European duel takes place on Wednesday at Signal Iduna Park, with the Black and Yellow visiting Stamford Bridge early next month.
Ahead of the game Potter told the media that his side would have several absences.
Injury has ruled out Edouard Mendy (finger), N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Christian Pulisic (hamstring), Raheem Sterling (knee), and Armando Broja (knee), as well as January acquisitions Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, and David Datro Fofana.
Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, and Mudryk all on two yellow cards in the Champions League. Another for each player will result in a one-game suspension, and further decimate the Chelsea squad.
This will force Potter to rotate his team against Dortmund yet again. With such poor form in the league as of late, the manager will be under pressure to get a good result in Germany.