Mourinho flags threat posed by Galatasaray danger men

Turkish opponents ‘very experienced, very powerful in attack’

Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba attends a club training session at Stamford Bridge, London. Chelsea play against the Turkish side in the last 16 second-leg match this evening. Photograph: EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba attends a club training session at Stamford Bridge, London. Chelsea play against the Turkish side in the last 16 second-leg match this evening. Photograph: EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga


Jose Mourinho has claimed Ramires’ ugly foul and red card in Saturday’s Premier League defeat at Aston Villa was largely borne of frustration at referee Chris Foy’s slapdash performance.

The official, who had already sent off Willian for two bookable offences, dismissed the midfielder in stoppage time for a dreadful challenge on Karim El Ahmadi, a tackle that sparked a mini-pitch invasion from both dugouts. Mourinho was sent to the stands after encroaching on the turf, with the Football Association still determining whether that merits further sanction, though he has suggested Foy must shoulder some of the blame for the rush of blood which will mean Ramires banned for three league games.

His loss represents a blow, even if the Brazilian will be available for today’s second leg of the last-16 Champions League tie against Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge. “I am angry [with Ramires], but you know in football it’s difficult to keep control of the emotions,” said Mourinho.

“There are persons in the game who are responsible to help the players control the emotions and, sometimes, these people are the people who push the players to lose their control. And I can’t separate Ramires’ tackle, which is a red card . . . I cannot separate that from the accumulation of frustration during the match. I feel that what happened in minute 92 was a consequence of the other 92 minutes we played before that. But that’s just my opinion.

“So for me, is it a red card? Yes, it is a red card. Was it in the first minute? Was it minute 20 and completely out of context, where you don’t know why the player did this? When you see the moment and what happened before that, you understand clearly. Or you don’t understand, but I do. I understand clearly that a player can make a mistake. He made a mistake. He’s going to pay for the mistake.

“I am happy because he is paying for the mistakes he makes, that’s simple. There are people who make mistakes who don’t pay for it. People turn their eyes to another side, they forget what happened, they do not want to see images. You know? It happens with many people in football. Ramires this season, he made one dive for a penalty [at Derby in the third round of the FA Cup] and got a yellow card. He made a bad tackle in the last game and got a red card. So when he makes mistakes, bump, he pays for the mistakes.”

Mourinho had said it would be “helpful” if Foy, who has now sent off six Chelsea players in his last eight matches officiating the club, was not selected for their games in the future. While that suggestion would set a dangerous precedent and will go ignored by Professional Game Match Officials Limited – “all our referees are available to referee all Premier League matches,” confirmed a PGMOL spokesman – Foy is unlikely to come up against Chelsea again this season anyway given appointments are made on rotation. He will oversee Hull City against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Drogba and Sneijder
The German, Felix Brych, will officiate against Galatasaray tonight as the hosts attempt to progress into the quarter-finals following their 1-1 draw in the first leg in Istanbul. The Chelsea manager described that result as “not especially good” and has warned his players over the threat posed by the Turkish, led by the returning Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder, who won a European Cup under Mourinho at Internazionale.

“They are very experienced, very powerful in attack, with players like Didier, Sneijder, Burak [Yilmaz],” he added. “We are talking about the best of the best. They know how to compete. They are bringing three or four thousand supporters, and they will silence Stamford Bridge, that’s for sure. So it’s hard.”

The Portuguese reserved his pre-match bickering for his opposite number, Roberto Mancini, who had been asked if he would seek to follow up an earlier pledge to take Mourinho out for dinner after the second leg in London. “If we win, then sure, and I’ll pay,” the Italian had insisted, though that idea was given short shrift.

“No, because I have no interest,” added Mourinho. “After the match I don’t do things just because I win or lose. So no, I won’t have a meal with somebody who has the same job as I do. And the only thing we have in common is the fact we’re both football managers.”
Guardian Service

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