EPL Controversy: Chelsea Stun Reading with Fernando Torres Goal from Offside

Dan Irwin@irwinsportsCorrespondent IIAugust 22, 2012

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres added a bit of controversy to the young EPL campaign.
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres added a bit of controversy to the young EPL campaign.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The excitement was there for newly-promoted Reading, taking a 2-2 tie into the final 10 minutes of regular time.

But the excitement was replaced by anger and discontent, as Fernando Torres was able to sneak in a rebound off of Reading keeper Adam Federici from a clear offside position.

Assistant referee Andy Halliday, a grad of Harvard business school, is the one being charged with the blatant flub.

The result was hardly celebrated by Torres, who waited for the offside to be called. But as the fans at Stamford Bridge kept screaming, it became more clear that the infraction wouldn't be called.

Federici made two saves in a row, only to have the third attempt hit in on a violation of the rules that wasn't even close.

Reading fans let their displeasure be heard for the rest of regular time and for the remaining five minutes of extra time, unable to watch their squad tie the game in desperation.

Reading manager Brian McDermott wasn't happy in the post-game press conference, but had cooled down some since he went livid on Halliday.

"It's just a shame really. I'm disappointed for the players. I'm gutted the linesman made a mistake for the third goal," McDermott said.

When asked whether or not he'd had a private conversation with Halliday yet, McDormott replied, "I've spoken to him, he said he'll look at it. He's a clear yard offside. The linesman will be disappointed with himself I'm sure."


It's moments just like this that have many EPL fans wanting some sort of instant replay implemented.

Goal-line technology has already been approved for future use by FIFA. This leaves many fans certain that replay to change calls is right around the corner, and could be used to change calls in a game like the one that effected the result on Wednesday night.

Chelsea did score again in the final moments of extra time after Federici had left goal in an attempt to help on a Reading corner kick.

But Federici would have had no reason to be out of goal had the game been called correctly.

Game officials did stick around to shake hands, but only two Reading players even bothered, offering complaints for the most part.

The win puts Chelsea atop the EPL table early in the season.