Newcastle solidified their position in the Champions League places by edging out Chelsea 1-0 at St James’ Park, but fans are talking about Christian Pulisic being pushed away by referee Robert Jones.
A second half goal from Joe Willock saw the Magpies stay third above Tottenham, as they trail Manchester City by two points and trail leaders Arsenal four points.
The game became increasingly physical in the seven added minutes at the end of the game, with both sides throwing big tackles as they both fought hard until the final whistle, and even after.
However, it was the moment that involved both referee and player that caught the eye, in a hilarious exchange.
With Chelsea pushing hard for an equaliser, the game bordered on the edge of chaos following Dan Burn’s off the ball push of Kai Havertz.
Following that free-kick, Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy was in a mad scramble to get back to his goal, whilst Newcastle struggled to make the Blues pay.
They went up the other end, and the game continued in that ilk, as Pulisic complained to referee Jones, who clearly had had enough of the frantic nature of the player’s collective behaviours.
Whilst arguing with Sean Longstaff, Jones decided to use force and he pushed the American away, much to Pulisic, and the fans, bemusement – it’s not everyday you see a referee take a stand like that.
Jones then proceeded to tell him off, much like an angry schoolteacher ridiculing a timid student.
Fans reacted in their masses on social media to the shove, with one fan backing the referee: ‘Players scream in refs faces all the time, then looks disgusted when a ref gives something back’
Whilst another compared the moment to one of the most famous referees ever in Pierluigi Collina: ‘Footballers are essentially overgrown teenagers who wear shorts to work. They crave discipline. Look at Collina. Screamed in players faces and they loved him for it. They despise/prey upon weakness.’
Inevitably, one fan made the obvious joke tweeting: ‘You don’t know where I’m from dawg’
That made it four losses in five games for Chelsea and Graham Potter, with ‘Sack Potter’ trending immediately after the game on Twitter.
It looks like the break has come at a good time for Potter, who now will have over month and a half to work on Chelsea’s issues before club football returns following the World Cup.