By Noel Whelan

24th Feb, 2020 | 8:23pm

'Shocking' - Exclusive: Ex-striker rips into 'Cowardly' Tottenham star in loss v Chelsea

Noel Whelan savaged Giovani Lo Celso after the Tottenham forward appeared to stamp on Cesar Azpilicueta at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. 

The former Leeds United forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, deemed the challenge “malicious and cowardly” whilst also questioning the decision not to send the 23-year-old off.

Chelsea were two goals up over their London rivals thanks to strikes from Olivier Giroud and Marcus Alonso when the controversial incident between Lo Celso and Azpilicueta occurred.

The incident was viewed by VAR officials at Stockley Park but no action was taken on the Argentine midfielder, much to the disbelief of Whelan.

When asked for his assessment of the challenge in the second half of Spurs’ 2-1 loss, Whelan told Football Insider: “Shocking challenge. It is a coward’s tackle. That is the only way I can say it. Malicious and cowardly.

“I understand you want to be aggressive but be aggressive in the right manner. That is a career-ending challenge – stamping sideways on someone’s shin like that. It is disgusting and I do not want to see it.

“All he showed there is that he is a coward and that went in to intently hurt somebody.

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“I do not know who is up there or what they are drinking at times but they do not have a clue. They are making the game worse. How you cannot see that is absolutely beyond me.” 

It was later revealed the Argentina international would not face retrospective action from the FA as the incident was viewed by both the referee and the video assistant referee at Stamford Bridge.

It was the second controversial VAR decision involving Frank Lampard’s side after Harry Maguire avoided a red card for kicking out at Michy Batshuayi earlier last week.

In other Tottenham news, Paul Robinson has told Football Insider 27-year-old could be victim of a summer clearout by Jose Mourinho.