César Azpilicueta’s last-minute red card was little more than a footnote to Chelsea’s frustrating afternoon at Villa Park — though it didn’t stop the hot takes from extrapolating that into systemic squad issues for Tuchel (“lost the plot”, and such) — as Chelsea fell ass-backwards into a fourth place finish thanks to Spurs beating Leicester City.
And given that the focus was on the result and the final league table, it perhaps spared Jack Grealish, the supposed victim, a closer examination as well — though given that he’s already the biggest diver this side of the Channel, that probably wouldn’t have happened anyway. Same goes for the performance of referee Stuart Attwell — though, again, given that refereeing incompetence is generally overlooked, that probably wouldn’t have happened either.
In any case, the red card probably didn’t change the outcome, but because it was a straight red for “violent conduct”, Azpilicueta was facing a three-match ban to start the next season.
Fortunately, Chelsea did appeal and the FA have today rescinded the card altogether. Let’s hope Grealish will recover fully from his decapitation as well.