Chelsea star blasted for what he did to Cole Palmer

Cole Palmer
Photo: Getty images

Martin Keown has criticized Raheem Sterling for taking penalty and free-kick duties from Cole Palmer during Chelsea’s FA Cup victory against Leicester City, describing it as “pulling rank.”

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Sterling’s penalty attempt was weak and saved, and later, he blasted a free-kick from close range over the bar.

Following these missed opportunities, Sterling faced jeers from the Chelsea crowd and was substituted for Noni Madueke as Chelsea sought a late goal to secure the win after Leicester had mounted a comeback.

“That kind of says everything about the Chelsea performance today,” Keown said during commentary for BBC Sport after Sterling’s wayward free kick.

“We’re all waiting to see Cole Palmer there to maybe hit this into the back of the net, then we see this.

“That’s a ridiculous effort. Obviously Sterling is doing his best there but Cole Palmer has to take that, end of.

“You saw that with Cole Palmer not taking the free kick then you go back to the penalty where Sterling takes it, here again now Sterling is calling rank on a very talented player, but he’s a young player.”

After Sterling was replaced by Noni Madueke in the 86th minute, Keown added: “A mixed day to say the least.

“I don’t think he should be pulling rank to take that penalty, I don’t think they’d be in this situation now.

“Then that free kick he took was quite wild. Not the best day for Sterling.”

Chelsea initially took a comfortable two-goal lead into the break thanks to Marc Cucurella and Cole Palmer, but their advantage was threatened when Axel Disasi scored an own goal from distance, giving Leicester hope. Stephy Mavididi’s stunning equalizer then drew the sides level.

However, late in the game, substitute Carney Chukwuemeka restored Chelsea’s lead with a well-worked goal involving a one-two with Cole Palmer, before Noni Madueke clinched the victory for Chelsea with a remarkable solo goal.

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