Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Mourinho feeling cheated of victory

Fernando Torres, right, is sent off for an incident involving Jan Vertonghen

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was left feeling cheated by Jan Vertonghen's role in Fernando Torres' sending off - an incident the Portuguese claims cost them victory at Tottenham.

The teams fought out a hot-tempered 1-1 draw befitting of the build-up surrounding Mourinho's first match against former protege Andre Villas-Boas.

Gylfi Sigurdsson gave Spurs a deserved lead in an opening 45 minutes they dominated, only for John Terry to head home a leveller before Torres was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Having escaped a straight red for scratching Vertonghen's face earlier in the game, referee Mike Dean gave the Spaniard a second yellow card for an elbow on the defender towards the end of the match.

Replays, though, showed there was no contact and Mourinho believes Torres' sending off robbed Chelsea of victory in north London.

Furthermore, he was adamant that Vertonghen should not have been playing anyway after a foul on Aston Villa's Nicklas Helenius in the Capital One Cup.

"Yes, [we would have won with 11 men], but football is football," Mourinho said.

"Sometimes things happen and you don't know why, but I think the way it was going not one person thought we were not at that time much, much better and much, much stronger. They were in trouble.

"I don't think the referee is guilty. He made the wrong decision, but the referee trusted the player.

"When you see a player with hands in his face and pretending that it was a violent action, I think the referee's normal tendency is to follow and make the decision.

"It was a bad decision by the referee, but for me it was a situation where the player was not helping the referee.

"And this player is a fantastic player, but he is a special guy because three days ago he left the Aston Villa striker naked and it was not a penalty or a red card.

"He should not have played this game. Vertonghen should not have played this game - he should have been suspended for a red card against Aston Villa.

"You go on YouTube, it is top of the ridiculous situations in football. It is ridiculous, the boy is naked.

"Today he changed the game, he changed the game, so I am not happy."

One thing that did please Mourinho, though, was the display of Juan Mata. Left out of the starting line-up, the Spain international was instrumental in Chelsea's second-half turnaround.

"I think this is the way players should say 'I want to play'," Mourinho said.

"Blah, blah, blah is not good. Conversation with you (the media) is not good. The agents blah, blah, blah behind is not good.

"Good is this, good is the effort he made against Swindon. It is the way he changed the team in the second half.

"And because of that, I am a very happy and I say with 72 hours in advance he plays Steaua Bucharest. He won that by himself."

Mata's introduction at half-time allowed Ramires to play deeper and saw Chelsea dominate the second period.

The point was deserved in the end but the match could have ended so much differently had Paulinho not struck the post last in the first half, wasting a chance to make it 2-0.

"I think probably the moment of the game was Paulinho hitting the post just before half-time," Spurs boss Villas-Boas said.

"Had that gone in, it could have put us in a very, very good position.

"I think we deserved that for the first half that we played. The second half wasn't really well played by both teams, but I think Chelsea had the upper hand on the counter-attacks.

"They looked very strong and deserved to get the equaliser in the end with a set play."

Villas-Boas sped through his media duties after the match, with a flight to Porto leaving from Gatwick just hours after the match.

He left for the airport long before Mourinho's attack on Vertonghen, although he could understand his counterpart feeling aggrieved by the red card.

"There was a couple of incidents," he said. "I think it is difficult for the ref to judge.

"They both go for the ball and the ref decides to caution Fernando, so probably that one is a bit dubious and unfair.

"But there were some incidents before that could have got him the caution earlier, also for Jan, to be fair.

"It was a tight battle and I think the referee made wise decisions, just the one with the sending off was a bit difficult for them.

"The scratch is the one we are annoyed with, but Jose will be annoyed with the sending off."

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