• Premier League

Martinez: Ref needed to be stronger

ESPN staff
February 22, 2014
Roberto Martinez felt Chelsea conned referee Lee Probert into giving them free-kicks © Getty Images

Roberto Martinez has accused referee Lee Probert of not being "strong" enough after he awarded a late free-kick that led to Everton's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.

Phil Jagielka was adjudged to have fouled Ramires in added time, with John Terry scoring Chelsea's winner from the resultant free-kick.

Martinez insisted that Probert had been conned by Ramires into blowing his whistle, and that Jagielka had not committed a foul.

"It's still a great performance, don't take anything away from what we did," said Martinez. "In the first half we were the most threatening team by a mile. We were controlling the game.

"In the second half, as you'd expect, a little bit of momentum from Chelsea. But it was one of those situations where the players are trying to buy too many free-kicks. You need a strong referee to see what clearly is a free-kick or not.

"Obviously Chelsea have a magnificent home record and it tells you that know-how that they have. It was a bit unlucky, a bit unfortunate.

"I think it was a very unfair result for us not to get anything out of this game after that performance we had.

"In the second half straight away it becomes a very tough game for the referee. every action, it seems that they were trying to get an advantage, they're trying to get a dead ball situation. They couldn't get any joy from open play.

"We were magnificent in that respect, and obviously it's disappointing. Ramires and Jags, they go into a situation one on one, he stands his ground, and you see the reaction, the way he [Ramires] loses his foot on the ground is clearly not because of contact, he's trying to look for contact. It's a shame, because until that point we had defended very well those incidents.

"Overall I couldn't be prouder of the performance. It's really very harsh not to get the right result that reflects the performances of the two sides."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close