Paulo Gazzaniga: 'WWE...MMA!' Pundits react to bizarre tackle as VAR awards Chelsea penalty vs Tottenham

Tom Doyle
Evening Standard
AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Paulo Gazzaniga suffered a rush of blood to the head as the Tottenham goalkeeper made a costly error during Sunday's Premier League London derby against Chelsea.

Spurs headed into the match as favourites given their resurgence under Jose Mourinho, while Frank Lampard's Chelsea had lost four of their previous five League games.

Scroll to continue with content

However, it was Chelsea who dominated proceedings at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Willian handing the visitors a deserved opener after 12 minutes.

Chelsea then doubled their lead from the penalty spot when Spurs 'keeper Gazzaniga inexplicably decided to try and scissor-kick a ball bouncing into his box rather than catch it, wiping out Marcos Alonso in the process.

(AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Referee Anthony Taylor then bizarrely awarded Tottenham a free-kick, but the decision went to a VAR check.

Working as a co-commentator for Sky Sports, Neville said while the VAR check was going on: "It can't be the other way. Surely it's a penalty.

"Gazzaniga misses the ball and it looks like he just clatters into Alonso for me. That's got to be a penalty. I don't know how a foul can be given against Alonso."

The VAR duly awarded a spot-kick and booked Gazzaniga, with Willian converting from the spot.

Following the penalty, Neville added: "It was WWF [WWE]. Reckless from the goalkeeper. I was never in doubt."

Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness said it was a challenge worthy of the MMA, saying: "I can't help you [in explaining Gazzaniga's decision].

"Why doesn't he just come and catch it? Alonso is trying to pull out. You see that in the Octagon. It's like mixed martial arts. If you look closer, Aurier is pointing to the spot!"

What to read next