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Tottenham Hotspur

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Cristian Romero reacts to talk of ‘bad blood’ with Enzo Fernandez as Tottenham and Chelsea stars link up

Cristian Romero, Enzo Fernandez Tottenham v Chelsea

Cristian Romero see red for challenge on Enzo Fernandez Tottenham v Chelsea

Tottenham star Cristian Romero insists that there is no bad blood between him and Argentina international team-mate Enzo Fernandez following his horror tackle on the Chelsea midfielder at the start of November.

The Spurs centre-back saw red for a lunging challenge of Fernandez in the penalty area and although he won the ball it was the force of the follow-through into the shin of the Chelsea star that saw a penalty given and then a red card handed out via VAR.

Romero was one of two yellow cards for the home side on the day as Destiny Udogie was also given his marching orders for picking up a second yellow card.

Tottenham went on to lose the game 4-1 after late goals spared Chelsea’s blushes as Ange Postecoglou’s men spurned some golden opportunities to draw level in a performance that drew a standing ovation from the home fans.

Fernandez, meanwhile, was visibly hurt by the challenge from Romero, although the Spurs defender insists the duo are still on speaking terms.

Speaking ahead of his return to international action, the 25-year-old World Cup winner told El Doce: “Always happy and happy to return to the national team, what I love the most and what I enjoy so much.

When asked if there was any ‘bad blood’, he responded: “Obviously everything is fine. They are things that happen in the game, they remain there, always.”

Referee Michael Oliver initially waved away Chelsea’s protestations about Romero’s tackle. However, a VAR intervention persuaded the official to award a penalty and a red card.

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Webb reveals thinking behind VAR Romero decision

And PGMOL chief Howard Webb explained that although Romero appeared to win the ball, his reckless follow-through was enough for the officials to believe he had committed serious foul play.

Webb told Mic’d Up: “Let’s have a look at what happened before that with Romero going in on Enzo. Yes, winning the ball, but coming through with that contact above the ankle which is ultimately what the penalty and red card were awarded for. So excellent process.”

“Just playing the ball in itself does not allow you to follow through in this way. We don’t see many contacts like this when the ball has been played and that’s for a reason.

“Players normally take care when playing the ball to avoid this sort of thing from happening and this clearly endangers the safety of Enzo with excessive force. When we see that full speed and in slow motion it’s a red card and it’s a good intervention.”

Romero will be missing again when Tottenham return to Premier League action after the international break when they host Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Udogie, meanwhile, should be available again after his one-match ban, although the left-back is still struggling with a muscle injury he suffered against Fulham and was forced to pull out of Italy duty.

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