Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Rudiger: I told ‘diving’ Bernard to get up – then he ‘hit me with his forehead’

The Chelsea defender was furious to receive a yellow card for his clash with the Everton player.

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has branded the decision which saw him booked for being “head-butted” by Everton’s Bernard “a joke”.

Rudiger remonstrated with Bernard for going down too easily in the latter moments of the first half of Sunday’s goalless draw.

With referee Kevin Friend running away from them to keep up with play, 5ft 3in Bernard stood up and motioned his head towards the 6ft 3in defender, who went down clutching his face and rolled around.

bpanews_d2698a55-d092-49aa-a8d8-3845ca89aa4b_embedded239645398
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger believes he was the victim of a head butt from Everton’s Bernard (Steven Paston/PA Images)

Both players were cautioned by Friend. Normal protocols dictate there can be no retrospective action if an incident is dealt with by the match officials at the time.

“It’s annoying because I don’t even tackle someone, do something and I get booked for being head-butted. Sorry, but that’s a joke,” Rudiger said.

“He (Bernard) was diving and I told him to stand up. Then he came with a lot of speed and hit me with his forehead, so for me to get a yellow card — to me that’s a joke.

bpanews_d2698a55-d092-49aa-a8d8-3845ca89aa4b_embedded239645405
Antonio Rudiger was left bemused at Bernard avoiding dismissal (Steven Paston/PA Images)

“The referee didn’t see anything. Perhaps it’s the fourth official who was outside (the pitch), maybe he said something to him (Friend) that I had provoked (Bernard) or something, but I just said, ‘Stand up’.

“If there is VAR in England, then Bernard has a problem. He would be sent off.”

Everton boss Marco Silva dismissed the incident at his post-match media conference.

Silva said: “Bernard? I didn’t see, but you think Bernard with his size can do something? I didn’t see, but I don’t believe.”

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph