Guus Hiddink disagreed with Slaven Bilic’s assessment of Chelsea’s late penalty against West Ham on Saturday and thought the decision looked accurate.
The West Ham boss had described the decision by referee Robert Madley as “unacceptable”, claiming that Michail Antonio had impeded Ruben Loftus-Cheek outside the penalty area with one minute to go of Saturday’s 2-2 draw.
But Hiddink’s verdict was the foul took place on the line of the 18-yard box and that the benefit of the doubt had rightly been given to Chelsea in a marginal decision, with Cesc Fabregas subsequently scoring from the spot.
The Dutchman told Sky Sports: “I think that the real, fair judgement can be done when you have a camera very straight on the line because from my side, with a blue shirt, then you see he was tripped when he was on the line and the line is part of the box so there is a different view.
“Loftus-Cheek was through, he was about to score – which was prevented. Even if it was out, it is the benefit of the doubt to the attacking team in this case.”
Fabregas scored both of Chelsea’s goals, the first time he had netted a double in a Premier League game since December 2009.
The last-gasp leveller from 12 yards meant the Blues stay unbeaten in the league since Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December, a run of 14 matches.
Hiddink added: “We had to react because we conceded two goals that were rather sloppy. We reacted for 10 or 15 minutes before half-time, especially with the beautiful Cesc Fabregas free-kick.
“Second half we were controlling and dominating the game. We got caught on the counter, but it is a compliment to the team to react as they did and then we got the late equaliser.
“We have reacted very well since December. It is difficult to get in the Champions League positions but the team has to have the desire they showed today to make a very good season at the end.
“I always like to be a bit critical of ourselves. Of course we are unbeaten and that is okay but by Chelsea’s standards we have had too many draws. I would have liked to have had a few more victories and less draws but we have shown character, including today.”
Hiddink also praised the performance of West Ham, who he feels are credible candidates for a Champions League spot despite the draw meaning they missed the chance to move above Manchester City in the table.
“This is a very good West Ham side,” he said. “They are very stable in their performances.
“It is a very balanced and good squad and it is not a surprise to me that they are knocking on the door for fourth place.”
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