Referee got decisions right – Mourinho

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insisted referee Kevin Friend was right not to send off Branislav Ivanovic or award Aston Villa an injury-time penalty at Stamford Bridge.

Ivanovic’s 73rd-minute header gave the Blues a 2-1 victory and came shortly after he escaped with a yellow card after catching Christian Benteke in the face with his arm.

And Chelsea were given the benefit of the doubt again when John Terry handled in the area in the closing stages.

But Mourinho suggested Terry had been impeded – and that the decision to only book Ivanovic was correct.

Ivanovic headed home Chelsea's winner.
Ivanovic headed home Chelsea’s winner.

“The referee did very well,” he said.

“From minute one to minute 95 there was a real football fight between Ivanovic and Benteke – fouls for one side and fouls for another side. I think that’s football.”

On whether Villa should have been given a spot-kick, Mourinho said: “If somebody pushes an opponent, especially in dangerous areas, it is a free-kick.

“I think if at this moment we were here with a draw then it would have been an unfair result.

“Villa fought a lot. They don’t play a lot – every ball the keeper kicks – but they gave us difficulties and probably if Petr Cech doesn’t save [from Andreas Weimann] we don’t even get a point out of this game.

“Villa have a player [Benteke] with great qualities and they use him. They play from Benteke and they play the counter attack.

“We controlled the counter attack very well. It is difficult because the ball comes from their keeper and you can’t press the keeper.”

Mourinho remains keen to capture a striker before the transfer window closes, with Manchester United’s England forward Wayne Rooney his top target.

Asked if he had considered trying to sign Benteke, the Portuguese replied: “He’s a great player but he’s a great player for a certain style of football. We try to play a different style of football.

“The good thing for my team is that Villa gave us a different match and we coped with that.”



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