December 4, 2020

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Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour given harsh red card for Scotland U21s during injury comeback

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Billy Gilmour was sent off during his injury comeback for Scotland Under-21s (Scotland National Team)

Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour was sent off within 10 minutes of his return from injury in Scotland Under-21s’ 2-2 draw with Croatia on Thursday.

The 19-year-old made his first-team breakthrough under Frank Lampard last season and had made 11 appearances in all competitions before suffering a knee injury against Crystal Palace in July.

Gilmour has been sidelined for four months after requiring knee surgery but has stepped up his recovery in training at Chelsea in recent weeks and is closing in on a first-team return.

Chelsea have allowed Gilmour to get some minutes during the international break for Scotland Under-21s as they play Croatia and Greece in their European Under-21 Championship qualifiers.

Gilmour was brought on as a substitute in the 63rd minute with Scotland 2-1 down to Croatia and showed excellent distribution and composure at the heart of midfield.

Scotland pulled level through Connor McLennan in the 70th minute but just 70 seconds later, Gilmour was on the receiving end of a harsh red card.

The Chelsea midfielder went shoulder to shoulder with Darko Nejasmic and Italian referee Michael Fabri gave a foul in Croatia’s favour.

Gilmour was furious with the decision and reacted angrily to Fabri by waving his arms in the air.

But the Italian official then stunned the Chelsea midfielder by producing a red card from his pocket.

The decision left Scotland’s bench puzzled, although television replays show that Fabri reached for his red card after Gilmour had spoken, which could indicate that the Chelsea midfielder was sent off for dissent.

Following a brief protest, Gilmour left the field as Scotland went on to hold out for a 2-2 draw.

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