Antonio Rudiger Blasts 'Joke' Yellow Card After Bernard Clash, Calls for VAR

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11:  Antonio Ruediger of Chelsea clutches his face after a clash with Bernard of Everton during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on November 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has said the yellow card he received against Everton was "a joke" and has called for video assistant referees (VAR) to be introduced into the Premier League.

Rudiger was issued with a caution on Sunday after tangling with Bernard, the Toffees' diminutive attacker, and despite having his back to the incident, referee Kevin Friend issued a booking to both players.

After the match, the Germany international said he believes technology needs to come into the game to help out the officials, per Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph:

"I think if in England we have VAR then I think Bernard has a problem. He was diving and I told him to stand up, and then I was standing and he came with a lot of speed and hit me with his forehead, and I get a yellow card. To me that's a joke.

"The referee didn't see nothing. So for me, it's like the fourth man who is outside, maybe he said something to him, that maybe I provoked or something. I just said stand up. At the end of the day, I just say if there is VAR he would have been sent off."

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11:  Players speak with Match Referee Kevin Friend after a clash between Antonio Ruediger of Chelsea (L) and Bernard of Everton (R) during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on November
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Per Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard, while Rudiger was unhappy with the decision, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, when reflecting on the incident as a pundit for Sky Sports, was critical of the Chelsea man for hitting the ground too easily.

He wasn't the only one who thought Rudiger made the most of it:

BBC 5 Live Sport on BBC Sounds @5liveSport

Plenty of strong challenges in that first-half. Although from his reaction you'd believe Rudiger was hit hardest. 🤥🤔 ⚽📱https://t.co/avBTuD63gI #CHEEVE https://t.co/SaN64ozJOK

The game finished in a 0-0 draw, although there were numerous flashpoints for the referee to deal with.

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho was lucky to avoid a dismissal for a two-footed lunge on Everton counterpart Gylfi Sigurdsson. Both teams had penalty calls waved away too, with appeals against Rudiger for a handball and Everton defender Yerry Mina for a challenge on Alvaro Morata not given.

While opinion is divided about the incident involving Rudiger and Bernard, he isn't the only player to have called for VAR after the weekend fixtures. Southampton striker Charlie Austin raged at the officials after he saw a goal disallowed in the 1-1 draw with Watford.

"People go on about VAR—they (the referees) clearly need help," he said, per Sachin Nakrani of the Guardian. "If this is the best, most watched league in the world, then give them all the help they need. It is a joke."

BT Sport highlighted another contentious incident from the weekend's fixtures, with Fulham controversially having a goal disallowed against Liverpool before the Reds took the lead:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Mitrovic (second from the end) was flagged for offside after thinking he put Fulham ahead. One minute later, Liverpool score through Salah... Announce VAR? What are your thoughts? https://t.co/CMiBGRvQG8

Per Law, the Premier League clubs voted in April against the implementation of VAR.

The technology was used at the summer's FIFA World Cup and was deemed a success. It is also in place in some of European football's other elite leagues, including La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A.