Chelsea manager José Mourinho was clearly not happy with the performance of referee Chris Foy, who had sent off who of his players (Willian, Ramires) as the Blues suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss at Aston Villa. Before full-time had been blown at Villa Park, the Blues’ boss was in the stands, having but shown from the sidelines while seeking an explanation for Ramires’s late red card.
After the match, when Mourinho sought explanations from Foy, he was left similarly frustrated, a mood that carried over into “the Special One’s” post-match interview. Electing to withhold his thoughts rather than invite a fine, Mourinho had no problem outlining the reason he was so being tight-lipped. You can’t criticize officials without drawing the league’s attention, and since all of his reactions would cast doubt on Foy’s decisions, Mourinho demurred.
There’s little doubt he has reason to complain about Willian’s dismissal. There was nothing about the attacker’s second half foul that deserved a card. That it was the Brazilian’s second yellow only highlighted the inanity of Foy’s decision.
Ramires’s foul, however, was one of the most dangerous plays we’ve seen this calendar year. There was little question the midfielder deserved to see straight red, a judgment that will bring a three-match suspension. Next week against Arsenal, Mourinho will be without two of his Brazilian midfielders.
With Manchester City overcoming Vincent Kompany’s early red card to win 2-0 at Hull, Chelsea’s chief title rivals are within six points of the top. They also still have three matches in hand.
Here are Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux, who called today’s match in Birmingham: