• Premier League

Di Matteo: Ref treatment of Chelsea unfair

ESPN staff
November 1, 2012
Chelsea pull incredible comeback

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo claimed Chelsea had become an easy target for match officials following Wednesday's incredible 5-4 Capital One Cup victory over Manchester United.

Di Matteo saw his team find three equalisers at Stamford Bridge to force extra-time, with David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard all on the scoresheet. Further strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Ramires in the extra 30 minutes booked a quarter-final tie with Leeds.

Two of Chelsea's goals came from blatant penalties on Wednesday, but a third appeal was turned down by referee Lee Mason when the ball clearly hit United defender Michael Keane's arm in the second half.

In light of Sunday's controversial contest - also against United, when Chelsea had two players sent off and later reported Mark Clattenburg for alleged "inappropriate language", Di Matteo questioned whether Chelsea were being treated as fairly as the other 19 top-flight clubs in England.

"It's incredible we got two players sent off in one game," Di Matteo said. "At QPR [last season], 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?

"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."

Chelsea must now await the outcome of the FA's own investigation into the club's complaint over Clattenburg, and Di Matteo hopes that his team will not be made to suffer during that period.

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

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