• Premier League

Mourinho points finger at Vertonghen

ESPN staff
September 28, 2013
Mourinho: Referee not to blame for Torres red card

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho accused Jan Vertonghen of playacting after Fernando Torres was red-carded in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham.

The Blues had trailed at the break through Gylfi Sigurdsson's opener and had looked second best during the first half, but they improved in the second period and claimed a point when John Terry headed home substitute Juan Mata's free-kick.

With ten minutes remaining, Torres - who had earlier been cautioned following a clash with Vertonghen in which he appeared to scratch the defender's face - was shown a second yellow card ten minutes from time following an innocuous aerial collision with the defender.

Mourinho felt Vertonghen had feigned injury during that second incident and that it had prevented his side taking all three points.

Asked if the result was fair, Mourinho said: "I don't think it was. I think they were better in the first half but not much better, they didn't create so many chances. In the second half, there was only one team.

"The team was very, very strong until the moment the referee made a mistake, a big mistake that had a big influence on the result. The referee is not guilty - the player [Vertonghen] is guilty. He pretended that Fernando had a big contact on him and the referee went on trust.

"At that moment we were much better. They were in big trouble. We were winning everything in midfield and going in waves of attack - [Andre] Schurrle had just had a chance that normally he has to score. It leaves a bad taste because we should win."

In his post-match press conference, Mourinho had further words of criticism for Vertonghen, who had pulled down Nicklas Helenius' shorts during Spurs 4-0 Capital One Cup win over Aston Villa this week.

"When you consider this player left an Aston Villa opponent naked when he pulled his shorts down on Tuesday, he should have been suspended for this game," he said. "In the end, he has a big impact on this game.

"It was a situation where the player was not helping the referee. This player is a special guy because three days ago he left an Aston Villa striker naked and did not receive the red card or concede the penalty.

"Vertonghen should not have played this game - he should be suspended with the red card from Aston Villa. It is top of the most ridiculous situations in football, but today he changed the game, so I am not happy.

"Maybe I am old fashioned, but I don't like to see a player trying to claim he has been hit in the face when the replay shows there was nothing. In England, you can use strong words with the players. You communicate with the players, they accept and this is the kind of dialogue you can have in this country.

"The referee had very good intentions in this game. You can see he gives the yellow card to [Andros] Townsend because he is diving, but in that situation it looks like a player is going to hospital with a broken bone and he reacts to that. You see the television and it was nothing. I am sad because the game was good to that point.

"I speak to people all over the world and what they like about English football is the relationship of the players and the fair play. What we saw in this game was different. The referee made a mistake, but he was convinced to give the card by their player.

"In the heart of a game, you can have a bad reaction - I had it many times - but for a player to try and convince a referee to give a card that is not there, I think that is worse."

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas said Torres' dismissal had been a tough call for referee Mike Dean.

"It was a difficult decision for the referee," he said. "Both players were going for the ball and he decided Fernando was over the top."

Villas-Boas suggested the result was fair after a game of two halves.

"It was a good game in general and I'm extremely happy with the performance," he said. "Our second half wasn't as good as we wanted and Chelsea did well to score from the set-play. With their pressing we lost fluidity and they did well to come back in the game.

"Both teams had chances. The chances were spread. We had a chance to [lead] 2-0 before half-time and that would have been the killer."

Mourinho also refused to further discuss his relationship with former assistant Villas-Boas, which had dominated the build-up.

"Between men - not children - this is not public," the Chelsea manager said. "It is between us. What you want and the people want, we gave, which is a very good football match."

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