CHELSEA held their nerve to reach the Europa League final but fans were stunned the referee bottled giving Cesar Azpilicueta a straight red card for a horror tackle.
The Blues captain went from hero to villain after he thought he had put his side ahead in extra-time before he missed a penalty in the 4-3 shootout win over Frankfurt.
The 29-year-old was adjudged to have fouled Kevin Trapp when he bundled the ball home before he was thwarted again by the German stopper following his spot-kick.
Azpilicueta was saved by the heroics of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Eden Hazard after 120minutes of play had left the two sides level following a 1-1 stalemate on the night.
However, many fans believe the full-back was lucky to even be on the pitch after he was only shown a yellow for a studs-up challenge on winger Mijat Gacinovic.
One Chelsea supporter wrote: "Red all day long, shocking from Azpilicueta", while another agreed, tweeting: "Aziplicueta was very lucky. Shocking challenge."
Other fans concurred that the former Marseille star had been given a massive let-off, believing he would have been giving his marching orders in a Premier League game.
Chelsea had taken a first-half lead through Ruben Loftus-Cheek only to see 21-year-old striker Luke Jovic net against the Blues for the second time and level up the tie.
Maurizio Sarri’s men needed goal-line clearances from David Luiz and substitute Davide Zappacosta to keep their chances alive before the game went to spot kicks.
Blues stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga then saved from Martin Hinteregger and Goncalo Paciencia to set up Hazard with the opportunity to win the tie at the Shed end.
After scoring the winning penalty that sent Chelsea into the final against London rivals Arsenal, the Belgian hinted that the match could be his final game.
The 28-year-old, who is heavily linked with a £100million summer move to Real Madrid, said: “If it's my last game I will try to do everything for this club to win a trophy.
“In my mind, I don't know yet. I don't think about that. I'm only thinking about winning something for this club and this squad.”
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