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Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso charged with violent conduct for Shane Long ‘incident’

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Studs to calf

Southampton v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images

Chelsea's Marcos Alonso has been charged with violent conduct after a naughty-looking challenge on Shane Long during Saturday's 3-2 win against Southampton. Or as The FA call it, “an incident”.

As per standard procedure, he has until 6pm on a Thursday to respond to the charges, which he can either accept and take the punishment of a three-match ban, or ask for a personal hearing in which case it might get reduced (or extended, if the extra step is deemed a frivolous waste of time).

This probably isn’t really a surprise, as the possibility of the FA looking into and taking retrospective action was floated in the immediate aftermath of Chelsea emphatic comeback win, and if there is one thing the FA can be consistent about, it’s folding to media pressure. Referee Mike Dean (supposedly) missed the incident live (even though he was looking right at it), which does allow the FA to act on its own rules.

That’s not say that Alonso’s challenge wasn’t rash and ill-advised, to say the least, nor does it diminish its shocking nature that it was against most pesky Shane Long, who is not above tripping Cesar Azpilicueta behind the play, for example.

As a consequence, January signing Emerson, who has been largely overlooked by Antonio Conte up until now, will presumably be given his first Premier League start on Thursday against Burnley. Alonso’s ban however will extend into the FA Cup as well, which is rather unfortunate since he was involved in 2 of the 3 goals on Saturday and would be looking to repeat that performance against Southampton in Sunday’s semifinal.

On a side note, even though it benefited us immensely, I bet Mike Dean's (in)competence won't be questioned. As Mark Hughes mentioned in his post-match interview, this really does once again underline why no English referees will be going to the World Cup in Russia.

In any case, best of luck to Emerson. Make us proud!