AVB eyeing up City
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has warned Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City his side are gunning for them.
The Blues bounced back from a run of three defeats in their last four games in all competitions to win 3-0 at Newcastle and ease themselves back into the top four in the process. They now face a crunch Champions League clash with Valencia on Tuesday ahead of City's visit to Stamford Bridge next Monday evening, and Villas-Boas is relishing the tasks ahead.
"Regarding the Premier League and bearing in mind the fact that last weekend was a good win for us against Wolves and not a long time ago, we won against Blackburn away, we are making good progress," said Villas-Boas.
"We recovered two points last week, we have recovered one position in the league against Newcastle, and we will have to wait on this weekend's results. We hope that Premier League fortunes are inverting for us. It's a good three points at a very, very difficult ground.
"We have a major, major game on Tuesday against Valencia. We hope to go through it and if we do, we set up the right emotional stimulus to take on the league leaders and hopefully further shorten the distance to them."
Just how different the game might have been had Chelsea defender David Luiz been sent off rather than booked after just four minutes for dragging down Demba Ba, a crowd of 52,305 will never know.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was at a loss to explain referee Mike Dean's lenience with Luiz, and was not convinced by the answer he got when he spoke to the official at the break.
He said: "I thought he was going to be sent off. It was the fourth minute of the game, but it doesn't really matter when that moment arrives. He [Ba] was in on goal, he was in behind Luiz, the goalie was not going to get to the ball, therefore it's a goalscoring opportunity, and he brought him down.
"I couldn't quite understand why he didn't send him off. I was really angry about it because if that had happened at Old Trafford with one of my players, one of my players would have walked, and I thought he would have walked today.
"The referee said to me at half-time that he [Ba] didn't have control of the ball. I am not quite sure of the rule book, so I need to get that out and have a look at it."