Henry: Bellerin's foul on Hazard was a penalty

Comments()
Getty Images
Arsene Wenger described the decision to award a spot kick as "farcical", but the Gunners legend has backed referee Anthony Taylor

Thierry Henry believes that Chelsea deserved their penalty in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Jack Wilshere had given the Gunners the lead, yet three minutes later Eden Hazard won a spot-kick after falling to ground following a lunge from home defender Hector Bellerin in the box. He converted the subsequent penalty, although the Spaniard got his own back as he snatched a late equaliser after Marcos Alonso had found the target again for the Blues.

While there was some controversy over referee Anthony Taylor’s call – Arsene Wenger described the decision as “farcical” – Arsenal’s record goal scorer Henry has backed the official.

“He doesn’t touch the ball, he connects with him, so it’s a penalty,” the former France international told Sky Sports.

Hector Bellerin Eden Hazard Arsenal Chelsea

Fellow pundit Gary Neville, who earned himself a reputation as a top-level full-back during a long career with Manchester United, disagreed. 

“That’s not a penalty,” he argued. “It’s a naïve kick and Hazard is always going to go down. It’s soft, but he certainly doesn’t catch the shin that he’s holding.”

The defender, meanwhile, was less decisive when quizzed over the incident.

Article continues below

“He’s always very quick in the box,” Bellerin admitted. “I saw the ball in the air and I tried to challenge for it. We both went for the ball at the same time and the referee thought it was a penalty, so we’ll have to see the replay.”

Hazard, meanwhile, responded: “We don’t need a replay, yes it’s a penalty.”

A share of the points mean that Chelsea remain third, one mark behind Man Utd, while Arsenal are sixth – five points shy of the top four.

Close