Belfast Telegraph

Martinez rues cruelty of game

Roberto Martinez accused Barclays Premier League officials of persecuting Wigan in their fight to stay in the Barclays Premier League after two more decisions cost his side dearly in their 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.

Latics boss Martinez insisted both Blues goals should have been ruled out for offside after watching Juan Mata's 93rd-minute winner deny his side a result that would have lifted them out of the bottom three for the first time in almost four months.

Martinez said: "Unfortunately, we have had too many times this season when it's not about matter of opinions, it's about clear calls that have been against us. I don't want to go into the debate that it's very easy to referee against little Wigan but, unfortunately, I believe this is the best league in the world and we should get better decisions than that."

Martinez's men were heading for a well-deserved 1-1 draw when substitute Mohamed's Diame's 82nd-minute equaliser cancelled out Branislav Ivanovic's opener, which was scored from a blatantly offside position.

That saw Wigan's players surround referee Mike Jones and assistant Dave Bryan, but to no avail. Martinez, who absolved Jones of blame, said: "If I speak with them, it will be a waste of time."

Citing previous decisions against Manchester United and Blackburn, Martinez added: "The sending-off at Old Trafford that was rescinded, that was an incredible decision. The corner-kick that was never taken against Blackburn. And, last year, we came here and Fernando Torres impeded Ali Al Habsi and it was a goal. It's happened too many times."

Speaking later to BBC Sport, a "furious" Martinez was even more outspoken, claiming Wigan were "robbed" by a "disgusting" and "horrific" performance from the assistant referee who made "shocking" decisions.

Meanwhile, Chelsea caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo claimed he had yet to see a replay of either of his side's goals.

He said: "But, despite all that, I think that Wigan were really unlucky not to get something out of this game. Because they played very well, they put a great performance in."

Di Matteo admitted the Blues suffered a hangover from Wednesday night's Champions League win over Benfica, despite making seven changes. He said: "After you play a midweek game in the Champions League, there's always a concern that you might have a little hangover for the weekend game."


From Belfast Telegraph