The 26 seconds that Alex Greenwood ancient up earlier than taking a free-kick for Manchester City proved extra costly than anticipated in their 1-1 plan with Chelsea.
Referee Emily Heaslip’s decision to punish Greenwood for time-losing, producing a second yellow card and sending off the England defender within the thirty eighth minute, came all of the sudden and terrorized these internal Joie Stadium.
Ex-England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis described it as a “ridiculous” decision, whereas ragged Lioness Fara Williams said it became as soon as “just steady-attempting”.
There had been loud boos within the stands from City supporters and chants directed at Heaslip, whereas three of Greenwood’s crew-mates – Laia Aleixandri, Chloe Kelly and Jill Roord – had been cautioned for dissent as they contested the decision.
- Match document: Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea
They had been among the 11 yellow cards proven, including one to City manager Gareth Taylor. Two of these had been second bookings as City forward Lauren Hemp became as soon as also brushed off for a corrupt on Lauren James within the 81st minute.
For americans that didn’t survey the game, you would have been forgiven for pondering the hosts had been overly aggressive as they grew to develop into handiest the second crew to have two gamers sent off in a single WSL match, joining Bristol City in 2012.
However, that became as soon as no longer the case.
Chelsea made extra fouls (10) than City’s four, but WSL officials are clamping down on time-losing and appeals from gamers this season – and this became as soon as a demonstration of the impact these drastic adjustments may per chance perhaps per chance perhaps also have.
It adopted contentious choices on the gap weekend when City’s Leila Ouahabi became as soon as sent off for kicking out at West Ham’s Emma Harries, whereas Aston Villa’s Kirsty Hanson acquired a red card for a high boot on Manchester United’s Hayley Ladd.
“Three red cards in two video games goes to ship a message suggesting to anybody that hasn’t watched us play, that we’re a grimy crew,” said City boss Taylor.
“However I deem anybody who has watched us within the last two video games would never dispute that. We’re a factual, younger crew that preserve possession of the ball in actuality neatly, are thrilling to survey and we’d favor to preserve 11 gamers on the pitch!
“If there may per chance be consistency, then in most of the video games [this season] we are in a position to appear for a variety of that – where there may per chance be yellow cards and red cards.”
Greenwood decision ‘ruins the game’
Whereas gamers and workers within the WSL had been made attentive to the realizing to crack down on sure substances of the game this season, Taylor is intrigued to appear for whether or no longer it will doubtless be implemented across the board.
“Let’s look for the challenges and the conversation between some gamers and the officials,” he added. “Let’s look for. That is all we desire – consistency.
“You create no longer desire consistency in immoral choices, needless to jabber no longer. Everyone makes errors – gamers, managers and referees.
“We’ll have to swap a variety of issues. That recreation became as soon as quite subdued. I deem it is seemingly you’ll perhaps per chance have a variety of coaches sat in my internet page announcing the identical issues.”
Skilled referee Heaslip, who officiated the Ladies’s FA Cup final last season, became as soon as booed heavily by City supporters who also teased her as they counted out aloud the seconds that handed with free-kicks within the second half of.
City had been main 1-0 thru Kelly’s opener, but had been denied victory as Guro Reiten scrambled an equaliser after six of 13 stoppage-time minutes had been performed at the discontinue of the match.
“Needless to jabber the [Greenwood] sending off alters the game because of or no longer it is 11 v 10,” said Chelsea boss Emma Hayes afterwards.
Punishing time-losing within the WSL is at the discretion of the referee but several ragged gamers didn’t accept as true with Heaslip’s decision.
“It is a ravishing decision,” said Williams. “It is never a red card. When Greenwood locations the ball down, she looks for the most effective choice.
“To head prolonged would be a 50-50 [choice] by process of retaining possession, so she stalls and tries to take care of watch over the recount. The unprecedented-sense choice would be to give her a warning.
“What then you look for is several yellow cards reach for City gamers out of pure frustration. It ruins the game. It hasn’t even been a recreation with challenges that have been price yellow cards.”
Brown-Finnis added: “She wasn’t even making an attempt to waste time, she stalls so her crew-mates can have time to come up the pitch. It became as soon as a matter of seconds! A very uncomfortable decision from the referee individually.”
Ancient Manchester City striker Ellen White puzzled why Heaslip didn’t appear to reveal Greenwood to lumber up and agreed the decision “modified the game”.
‘This is in a position to perhaps per chance perhaps be an eight-a-aspect league’
Taylor admitted his gamers will have to “learn swiftly” within the event that they’re to avoid extra punishments this season.
They’re going to already be with out Greenwood, Hemp and Ouahabi thru suspension for his or her next WSL match at dwelling to Bristol City.
“Must you develop drastic adjustments love this it will also be rather complicated and, at the second, you are announcing a variety of these forms of [offences] will doubtless be yellow cards,” said Taylor.
“Nevertheless it became as soon as 11 yellow cards and two red cards [in total] and it became as soon as no longer a malicious recreation at all.
“I’m all about admire. It’s this sort of laborious job for the officials, especially will have to you have gamers coming at you and perhaps workers. However let’s move it a limited little bit of bit slower because of, if no longer, it will doubtless be an eight-a-aspect league unfortunately – within the event that they’re consistent.”
The adjustments have no longer long past down neatly up to now as ragged England striker Ian Wright described Greenwood’s dismissal as “embarrassing” and said it showed an absence of unprecedented sense.
Arsenal striker Beth Mead posted on X: “Unpleasant decision, never time-losing.”
And ragged Manchester United manager Casey Stoney added: “Perchance the most ridiculous red card I’ve ever viewed. How to extinguish a recreation within the WSL. Absolute joke!!!!!”