Belfast Telegraph

Neil Warnock to avoid FA charge over on-pitch staredown with officials

The Bluebirds boss was furious after seeing victory snatched from his grasp.

Neil Warnock was furious after Sunday’s defeat (Nick Potts/PA)
Neil Warnock was furious after Sunday’s defeat (Nick Potts/PA)

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock will face no action over his on-field behaviour following Sunday’s controversial Premier League defeat by Chelsea, Press Association Sport understands.

Warnock could yet receive a Football Association charge over his post-match comments about the officials, but it is understood that he will escape punishment after standing and shaking his head as referee Craig Pawson and his assistants left the pitch.

The Bluebirds boss has since claimed his wife would not have stopped him if he wanted to “thump the referee and linesman” after a his side conceded a controversial late equaliser before suffering a 2-1 home defeat.

His side looked to be closing in on a priceless victory in their battle to stay in the top flight when 1-0 up with only six minutes left.

However, Cesar Azpilicueta diverted Marcos Alonso’s flick-on to head home an equaliser despite being at least two yards offside before Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored a dramatic winner in stoppage time.

Warnock was left incandescent after the full-time whistle.

Speaking after the match, the Cardiff boss described the Premier League as “the best in the world”, but said it had “probably the worst officials at the minute”, adding the manner of the defeat was “soul-destroying”.

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Neil Warnock, left, was dejected at full-time (Nick Potts/PA)

Warnock later revealed in a lengthy interview with talkSPORT that his wife Sharon had shared his frustration.

“When I came in yesterday, my wife said to me, ‘Darling, if you had wanted to thump the referee and linesman, I wouldn’t have stopped you’. It was so unjust,” Warnock said.

“I’m obviously gutted. You could imagine what the dressing room was like.

“We played so well and I’m really proud of them, but once again we’ve been kicked in the teeth.

“We’ve worked our socks off for three weeks to get where we were, because we thought we could beat Chelsea and we did everything right, but then a human error like this?

“It’s just… well it’s unbelievable. I can’t describe my feelings.

“That could be the decision that costs us everything, because I thought we could put pressure on the other clubs, but now we’re battling against the odds again.

“I thought we had some major decisions (go against us) yesterday. The linesman yesterday said sorry to me after the game, but it’s too late, what good is an apology?”

You just feel it's such an injustice Neil Warnock

The 70-year-old added: “We’re having too many honest mistakes and it’s always the top teams who get the decisions.

“You just feel it’s such an injustice, and I’ve felt like that ever since Christmas.

“You almost begin to think, is it me? Is it payback time for all the years I’ve shouted at referees? Have they all got together now and said, ‘Let’s get him out of this place’?

“I used to think that about one or two refs, but when I speak to them, they’re not like that and I know they’re not like that.”

Warnock continued with his tirade against referees chief Mike Riley, whom he called upon to leave his position.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) declined to comment on the Cardiff manager’s claims.

Cardiff will continue their survival battle away at Premier League title challengers Manchester City on Wednesday night.

Azpilicueta, meanwhile, has called for Chelsea unity after fans demanded manager Maurizio Sarri be sacked during their comeback win.

The dramatic conclusion could not mask a poor Chelsea display, which saw disgruntled supporters vent their frustration at Sarri and call for the Italian to be dismissed.

Chelsea host Brighton on Wednesday and Azpilicueta said: “From the first minute, we have to create a good atmosphere on the pitch.

“I know the fans will be behind us but we have to give them what they want – fighting spirit, great football and scoring goals.

“That’s what we both want and we have to pull in the same direction.”

PA

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