The Champions League Group E opener between Dynamo Kyiv and Benfica ended in a goalless stalemate – but there was no shortage of drama as Anthony Taylor accidentally sent off a player
Premier League referee Anthony Taylor had a moment to forget in Tuesday night’s Champions League encounter between Dynamo Kyiv and Benfica.
The Group E opener in the Ukrainian capital ended in a goalless stalemate but there was no shortage of drama as Taylor accidentally gave Kyiv midfielder Denys Garmash his marching orders in the 82nd minute.
Garmash rose from the turf having been brought down by a forceful challenge seconds earlier and produced a high tackle on Benfica midfielder Joao Mario.
Taylor blew his whistle and, to Garmash’s utter bewilderment, he was shown a yellow card followed by a red card as the official pointing to various areas of the pitch he allegedly had committed fouls.
The 31-year-old refused to leave the pitch as Kyiv players and staff on the touchline looked equally confused and protested the decision.
Taylor quickly realised his mistake and rectified it by showing Garmash a yellow card, much to the relief of the Kyiv ace.
It was an uncharacteristic error by Taylor, who has refereed in the Premier League since 2010 and was FIFA listed in 2013, allowing him to officiate European and international matches.
The 42-year-old’s CV includes refereeing the League Cup final, two FA Cup finals and the 2020 UEFA Super Cup.
Taylor also drew widespread praise this summer for his composed reaction to Christian Eriksen’s collapse in the Euro 2020 group-stage fixture between Denmark and Finland, which he was officiating.
He brought play to a halt quickly and ushered medical professionals onto the pitch, meaning Eriksen was successfully treated for a cardiac arrest within seconds.
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In the wake of the harrowing incident, UEFA chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti said: “Everyone recognised that Anthony was perfect. He managed this difficult moment in a great way.
“We are proud about his behaviour, we are proud about his cold blood. We recommended to the referees that safety is first, it is the most important target for us.
“The referees must, and they are ready, to stop the match immediately in these situations. Anthony was amazing.”
Taylor started refereeing in the Northern Premier League in 2002 and progressed up to the National League and English Football League before reaching the top flight.
He will hope to put his blunder in the Champions League behind him as he takes charge of Burnley’s Premier League clash with Arsenal on Saturday.
Taylor had a history with former Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, who labelled him “stubborn” after he awarded Aston Villa two penalties on their way to a 3-1 win at the Emirates in 2013 while also sending off Laurent Koscielny.