Didier Drogba had to be pulled away from the referee last night, shouting at him and pointing in his face. Michael Ballack joined in and captain, John Terry, contributed his fair share, making little effort to hold his players back.
Chelsea have a reputation for their dreadful discipline and last night it was at it’s worse. It was probably the worst example we’ve ever seen.
As Drogba walked off the field he turned to the Sky Sports camera knowing and shouting “this is a disgrace! It is a fucking disgrace!” and his attacks reportedly continue down the tunnel.
“I am fully behind Didier Drogba for the way he reacted,” said Terry after the game. “The man wants to win. You can see the passion that he played with during the game and the passion afterwards. It is difficult when players are so high on emotions after the game and people were saying in the TV studios that we shouldn’t be reacting the way we did. That’s impossible after having six or seven decisions go against you at home in front of your own fans. I’ve seen them all and two were clear penalties and you don’t get one. How are you supposed to feel?”
There is no doubt the referee cost Chelsea the game yesterday, although the game could have been in their own hands had Drogba put away one of the several chance he had in both the home and away leg, but the referee failed to award them stonewall penalties.
But how can a captain be “fully behind” his player who repeatedly confronts a referee and swears in to a television camera? How can emotions be blamed for what happened last night at Stamford Bridge? It’s as if they believe they are the only team to suffer at the hands of the referee or they are the only team passionate about reaching a cup final.
Manchester United missed out on their place in the FA Cup final thanks to Mike “Manchester United fan” Riley failing to award a penalty when Danny Welbeck was brought down by Phil Jagielka in the box. Welbeck had beaten the keeper and had an open net gaping before Jagielka took him out, making no contact with the ball. No penalty, no FA Cup final, for a team made up largely of teenagers and players in their early 20s (Foster 25, Rafael Da Silva 18, Ferdinand 30, Vidic 27, Fabio Da Silva 18, Welbeck 18, Gibson 21, Anderson 20, Park 28, Tevez 25, Macheda 17. Average age=22) who were inexperienced, naive and emotional. Did they verbally abuse the ref? Did they scream and shout and swear in to the camera? Course they didn’t.
Darren Fletcher looks to miss out on his place in the Champions League final because the referee sent him off for a supposed foul on Cesc Fabregas. Replays show Fletcher got to the ball and that no red card should have been given. So did our player verbally abuse the referee? Did he scream and swear in to the camera? Course he didn’t.
How many times have teams lost finals, been relegated, denied league titles because of refereeing decisions? Just off the top of my head, I remember Mark Hughes scoring against West Ham on the last day in 1995 and it was wrongly ruled out for offside and Blackburn lifted the Premiership trophy that afternoon because of it.
Teams and players up and down the country are denied what they deserve, whether it’s a place in the division above or a title, whether it’s a place in a cup final or lifting a trophy, every single year. But have you ever seen a team behave the way Chelsea did at the final whistle last night?
The attention today should have been totally focussed on how poorly run UEFA is, with them appointing to referees for the European Cup semi-finals who made dreadful decisions, particularly the one for the Chelsea vs Barcelona match, but instead, thanks to those twats, the limelight is being taken away. Yeh the referee was bad but how bad were the Chelsea players? UEFA will now hide behind the behaviour of Drogba, Ballack and Terry, instead of addressing what should have been the real issue this morning. How can Chelsea criticise the referee for being unprofessional then go on to be unprofessional themselves? It doesn’t cut it!
Terry asks how the players are supposed to feel. Well, they are supposed to feel absolutely gutted. They were well and truly robbed by a totally inept referee. But does that excuse what followed? Course it doesn’t. I’m not sure where this precious idea has originated from, this idea that they are more passionate or they have been more heavily robbed than other teams, but for whatever reason, people seem to buy in to it.
They are a fucking disgrace and the fact their own captain approves their embarrassing behaviour suggests nothing will change anytime soon.
The RoM 2018-19 Season Preview is available for just £6. It includes an EXCLUSIVE interview with Juan Mata, a Q&A with the country's top journalists, articles by brilliant United writers, and so much more. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.