Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes Slams 'Shocking' Red Card Decision in Champions League Loss to Barcelona

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes slams "worst decision in UWCL history" as red card costs Chelsea against Barcelona in Champions League semifinal.

Ebenezer Mensah
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Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes Slams 'Shocking' Red Card Decision in Champions League Loss to Barcelona

Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes Slams 'Shocking' Red Card Decision in Champions League Loss to Barcelona

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has strongly criticized the referee's decision to issue a red card to defender Kadeisha Buchanan in the second leg of the UEFA Women's Champions League semifinal against Barcelona on Thursday night. Hayes argued that the sending off in the 59th minute, with Chelsea leading 1-0 on aggregate, was a "shocking" call and "the worst decision in UWCL history."

The incident occurred when Buchanan received a second yellow card for a challenge on Barcelona's Patri Guijarro. Hayes felt the decision was unjustified, claiming it turned the game in Barcelona's favor despite Chelsea's strong second-half performance at Stamford Bridge. "It was the worst decision in the history of the competition," Hayes said after the match. "There's nothing you can do when you get a shocking decision like that against a team as good as Barcelona."

Before the red card, the game was tied at 1-1 on aggregate, with Chelsea looking to reach their first Champions League final. However, Barcelona capitalized on the player advantage, with Aitana Bonmati scoring a deflected opener and Fridolina Rolfo converting a late penalty to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory.

Hayes expressed surprise that the 34-year-old Romanian referee Iuliana Demetrescu, who is "famous for easy cards," was assigned to the high-stakes match. The defeat was a bitter blow for Hayes, who will be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season to take over as the U.S. women's national team's head coach.

Why this matters: The controversial red card decision in the Champions League semifinal between Chelsea and Barcelona has significant implications for the women's game. It highlights the ongoing debates around refereeing standards and the impact of key decisions on high-profile matches. The incident also adds to the disappointment for Chelsea and manager Emma Hayes, who will now leave the club without achieving her goal of winning the Champions League.

Despite the disappointment, Hayes praised her team's performance and the sold-out crowd at Stamford Bridge, which was hosting a women's game at full capacity for the first time. Chelsea's attention will now turn to the Women's Super League, where they are locked in a battle with Manchester City for the title as they aim to send Hayes off with silverware. Barcelona, meanwhile, will face the winner of the other semifinal between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon in the Champions League final on May 25.

Key Takeaways

  • Chelsea manager Emma Hayes criticized referee's red card decision as "worst in UWCL history".
  • Buchanan's red card in 59th minute turned the game in Barcelona's favor, who won 2-1 on aggregate.
  • Hayes expressed surprise at the assignment of the "famous for easy cards" Romanian referee.
  • Defeat was a bitter blow for Hayes, who will leave Chelsea to coach US women's national team.
  • Chelsea's focus now shifts to Women's Super League title race as Hayes aims to leave with silverware.