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ENGLISH LEAGUE CUP

Chelsea boss rails at refs in spite of gaining revenge against Man U

Blues boss blasts treatment of officials in wake of contentious loss to United on Sunday even though club gain swift revenge in League Cup

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 November, 2012, 5:52am
 

Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo has questioned his team's treatment at the hands of match officials in the wake of the club's controversial Premier League defeat by Manchester United last weekend.

Di Matteo's side gained swift revenge by beating Alex Ferguson's men 5-4 after extra-time to reach the last eight of the League Cup - three days after the 3-2 loss that was marked by the dismissal of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres by referee Mark Clattenburg.

Chelsea subsequently lodged a formal complaint to the Football Association about comments directed by Clattenburg towards John Mikel Obi.

Di Matteo refused to discuss that matter, which is also being investigated by the police.

But, drawing parallels with the defeat at Queens Park Rangers 12 months ago, which also ended with the dismissal of two Chelsea players, Di Matteo questioned whether his side were being treated fairly.

"It's incredible we got two players sent off in one game," he said. "At QPR, one was correct and one was probably not correct.

"And on Sunday [against United] one was harsh and probably correct and the second one was 100 per cent not correct, so it's incredible that always it's Chelsea Football Club. So maybe that's something to think about, you know?"

Chelsea were awarded two penalties by referee Lee Mason in the second meeting with United, the second of which was converted by Eden Hazard in the final seconds to take the tie into extra-time.

But Di Matteo believes his side were denied a legitimate third penalty when Juan Mata's cross hit United centre-back Michael Keane on the arm.

And he added: "We just want to be treated fairly by everybody. Nobody is talking about the handball in the second half when we should have had a penalty."

The Blues manager, though, does not believe Chelsea will suffer a reaction from match officials because of the decision to make a complaint against Clattenburg.

"I think the referees should be going into the games with the most confidence they can have," he said.

"You know we're under pressure here - the players, the officials, the coaching staff - to perform, and I don't think there is any prejudice from that point of view."

Chelsea fought back three times as first Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernandez and then Nani put United ahead, with the hosts replying through David Luiz's penalty, Gary Cahill's header and then Hazard's late spot-kick.

Daniel Sturridge and Ramires put the hosts in control in extra-time and Giggs' 120th-minute penalty came too late to affect the outcome.

Ferguson fielded young centre-backs Scott Wootton and Michael Keane and admitted that their inexperience told.

"We had to gamble in terms of the young centre-backs," he said. "It's not easy. You can use young forwards but playing young central defenders away from home in a game of this magnitude is not easy and that's how it proved."

There were shocks in the night's other ties, meanwhile, as Swansea City won 3-1 at Liverpool to knock former coach Brendan Rodgers out of the competition and Norwich City came from behind to eliminate Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool's season encountered fresh disappointment at Anfield as they were outplayed by Swansea, who reached the last eight for the first time.

Chico, Nathan Dyer and Jonathan de Guzman found the net for the Swans, with Luis Suarez on target for Rodgers' side.

Meanwhile, a quick-fire pair of goals in the last six minutes saw Norwich come from behind to win 2-1 against Tottenham at Carrow Road.

Gareth Bale fired home from outside the box to give Spurs the lead in the 66th minute but Jan Vertonghen's 84th-minute own goal levelled the scores.

Simeon Jackson put Norwich in front three minutes later, slamming home after Hugo Lloris saved from Grant Holt, and Spurs' misery was complete moments later when Clint Dempsey's penalty was saved by Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn.

 


Quarter-finals

League Cup match-ups:

Leeds United v Chelsea

Swansea City v Middlesbrough

Norwich City v Aston Villa

Bradford City v Arsenal

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