It is hard to find highlights of the weekend just gone, following an embarrassing defeat to our hated rivals, Liverpool. Even seeing City lose wasn’t a completely joyous occasion, considering it was Chelsea, our biggest title rivals, on the receiving end of the points. Whilst I enjoy thinking of the bluenoses getting terribly giddy following Robinho’s goal, only to be totally outplayed on their home turf, it’s hard to get too excited about any Chelsea victory.
So, a clear highlight is definitely John Terry’s red card in the closing moments of the game. Whilst most initial reports slammed the decision, claiming Ricardo Carlvaho’s presence meant the England skipper should not have been sent off for a professional foul, the referee’s report paints a different picture.
Jo did John Terry, after Deco sold his captain short with a poor pass. Terry attempted to rugby tackle the Brazilian, hauling his opponent down on the half way line.
Mark Halsey showed no hesitation in showing Terry a straight red card, and as par for the course, the rentboys surrounded the referee.
Frank Lampard is one of many not happy with the decision, not enjoying the idea of facing United’s Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Cristiano Ronaldo without Terry.
“John Terry wants to play football. He wants to play against United and we need him as captain,” said Lampard. “You shouldn’t take that away for a challenge that’s a standard yellow card. I’ve never seen a red card given for that sort of challenge. Hopefully they’ll look at it again and make it a yellow. It’s not a professional foul when there’s two men behind the ball. If not, we could miss him for three games. It’s just a block-off challenge. It happened at the other end with Didier Drogba when there was a free-kick given against Richard Dunne. If that’s the case, he should have punished him the same as JT, but he wasn’t.”
Whilst Chelsea are set to appeal the red card, reports today suggest that they’ve got little to no chance of being successful. Halsey has reported the incident as ‘serious foul play’ rather than a ‘professional foul’. As red cards cannot be rescinded to yellow cards, Chelsea will have to prove Terry was not even guilty of a yellow card offence, to get off the hook, which is very unlikely.
Chelsea, who were charged an incredible three times for failing to control their players over the course of last season, and a total of eight times ranging back to the two years before, crowded the referee after the red card was shown.
“They didn’t understand the decision of the referee and it is normal for some players to say, ‘What is this, what is that?’ – but with respect for the referee, not confronting the referee, not using bad words,” Scolari said in their defence. “They respect the decision of the referee.”
Rubbish weekend, but at least there’s something to console us to a certain extent. I’d have rathered Carvalho to be missing next weekend, but Terry’s absence will do.
Like our new signing of last season, Carlos Tevez, got his first goal against Chelsea, it would go down pretty well to see Berbatov do the same this year. Without Terry playing, that job should be easier for him.