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Chelsea’s Eden Hazard won’t face dive charge over Arsenal penalty – sources

Eden Hazard will face no disciplinary action from the Football Association over the penalty he won and converted in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.

Chelsea had fallen behind to an emphatic strike from Jack Wilshere in the 64th minute at the Emirates Stadium when Hazard went down in the penalty area under pressure from Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin and referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot.

Hazard sent Petr Cech the wrong way to level the score and Marcos Alonso looked to have won the match for Chelsea when he clinically finished Davide Zappacosta’s low cross on 84 minutes, only for Bellerin to snatch a point for Arsenal in the second minute of injury time.

Speaking after the match, Arsene Wenger — already facing a touchline ban for confronting Mike Dean at the end of Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with West Brom on New Years’ Eve — described the penalty award as a “farcical decision.”
Under new regulations introduced at the beginning of this season, Hazard could have faced a retrospective charge of “successful deception of a match official,” which carries a two-match suspension if proven.

But sources have told ESPN FC that since there was no “clear and overwhelming evidence” that Hazard had deceived Taylor to win the penalty, the incident will not be referred to the FA panel for video review.

Everton striker Oumar Niasse was banned for two matches after being found to have dived to win a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace in November, while West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini was handed the same punishment after being awarded a spot kick in his side’s 3-0 win over Stoke City last month.

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