Martinez criticises Ivanovic after Blues win

Everton boss Roberto Martinez suggested Branislav Ivanovic was lucky to avoid a red card after a flare-up with midfielder James McCarthy.

In a melee after Everton’s Gareth Barry was sent off, Chelsea right-back Ivanovic appeared to be grab McCarthy around the neck before squaring up to him.

Martinez felt Ivanovic should have followed Barry down the tunnel, but instead the Serbian helped create Chelsea’s winning goal moments later.

He said: “When you look at the images of Ivanovic’s behaviour, that shouldn’t be allowed.

“First of all he grabs James McCarthy around his neck in a forceful manner, then he puts his head against him when McCarthy never reacted one single bit. If you want to be fair with the laws, that’s a red card.”

Ivanovic has been a key player for Chelsea this season
Ivanovic has been a key player for Chelsea this season

Martinez was also unhappy with the two yellow cards given to Barry and accused Cesar Azpilicueta of leading Chelsea calls for the ex-England man to be sent off.

He said: “The first booking after five minutes was very soft.

“Then Gareth gets another booking which, yes, is a free-kick, but the player [Willian] decides to stop and referee the game.

“There is contact, football is a contact sport. But to give another yellow card is very harsh.

“And the disappointment is that the left-back [Azpilicueta] is running 25 yards to demonstrate around the referee. You don’t want to see that.

“I think Chelsea have the quality to win the league. I just don’t want to see teams having to win games in that manner.”

However, Martinez praised the performance of his own players, as they came within a couple of minutes of becoming only the second team to take points from Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this season.

He said: “I thought we defended really well. Then we produced probably the two best chances in the game.

“Petr Cech’s reflexes, especially in the second half, was the difference in the scoreline.”

Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook