Soccer

Chiellini escapes red card for LAFC despite playing volleyball to stop attack

Giorgio Chiellini somehow managed to escape a red card despite appearing to forget he was a footballer and batting the ball away with his hands for Los Angeles FC.

Chiellini joined the LAFC revolution alongside Gareth Bale in June. And while the Italian's Welsh team-mate had a game to remember against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, Chiellini managed to get himself in all kinds of bother.

With his side 3-1 up and cruising, the 37-year-old got his positioning all wrong as Salt Lake attempted to play a ball over the top. With the ball about to bounce over his head and allow an opposition player through one-on-one, Chiellini jumped and raised his hands up to bat the ball away like a volleyball player.

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Salt Lake players were furious with the former Juve man's blatant cheating. And their mood didn't get much better when the referee opted against showing a Chiellini a red card, choosing to book him instead.

The commentators couldn't believe what they had just witnessed, with one of them saying: "He basically played volleyball there. You could make a case that that's a red card. Concentration for Chiellini there going out the window."

What's the strangest thing you've ever seen on a football pitch? Let us know in the comments section below.

Football fans on social media were also left perplexed by Chiellini's bizarre handball. "Haha I used to do this at 5 a side and ngaf," said one supporter.

As another wrote: "Hahahahaha he’s a cheating b******. Love it." A third person commented: "The villainy will never leave him this is so funny." As someone else chimed in with: "What a s***house."

Others agreed, saying: "Being a top s***house which makes him an outstanding defender. That was a great decision." And: "Mans treating the MLS like exhibition games."

Despite Chiellini's mid-game volleyball foray, LAFC managed to extend their advantage late on as former Tottenham winger Bale scored a wonderful solo effort reminiscent of his goal against Barcelona in 2014.

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