Belfast Telegraph

‘Reckless’ Cole backed by Chelsea manager

By Stuart McKinley

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas today launched a defence of Ashley Cole after his nasty tackle forced Javier Hernandez off the field in Manchester United’s compelling 3-1 victory over the Blues at Old Trafford.

In an extraordinary encounter, which saw United make it five league wins out of five, Chris Smalling, Nani and Wayne Rooney scored for United — the first two should have been ruled out for offside — with Fernando Torres replying for Chelsea.

Rooney fluffed a penalty and Torres missed the easiest of chances, but of more concern to United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was Cole’s challenge. The player was booked when he should have been red carded, with Ferguson describing Cole as “reckless”.

Villas Boas said: “Maybe he wouldn't be in trouble if the linesman does his work. He would have been less emotionally drained.”

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