For neutrals, Chelsea 3-3 Everton on Saturday provided just about everything you wanted from a Premier League game.
For Everton fans and their manager Roberto Martinez, it left them feeling sick to the stomach as a controversial injury-time equalizer from Chelsea captain John Terry.
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First of all Terry’s nonchalant flick occurred when he was clearly two-yards offside (something his relieved manager Guus Hiddink admitted post-game) and then the kicker was that it was scored at the 97:53 minute mark, even though only 97 minutes of stoppage time had been added.
Of course, referee Mike Jones and his team announce that a “minimum of seven minutes of stoppage time” will be played, as per the rules, and the fact that Ramiro Funes Mori scored in the first minute of added time to put Everton 3-2 up and spent almost a minute celebrating meant that extra time should have been added on to the original seven minutes allotted. Anyway, try telling that to Martinez…
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Speaking after the game about Terry’s equalizer, Martinez tells us how he really feels. It’s worth reading all of this:
“I am very angry. Top and bottom we lost a football game because of a horrific decision right at the end,” Martinez said. “It is clearly offside. It is over the time. It was seven minutes and if you look at the time when we conceded it was well over the time. That is something that is clear-cut, not just the referees decision. It is something that is black and white.”
“We have had it taken away in a very unfair manner,” Martinez continued. “All you want is the referee to do his job. The linesman is in a good position and John Terry is clearly offside. It is a clear-cut decision. It is over the time, I think that is something we should look in to. Everyone should be aware of the time that is remaining. It is another minute on top. That is not good enough if you look at the amount of effort we’ve had to put in performing on Wednesday and now. It is not good enough, taking two points away in the manner it was done. Nobody in the away stand deserved that. Nobody in the dressing room deserves that. It is a shocking thing to have to cope with.”
“Unfortunately you don’t get anything out of it [asking the referee for an explanation]. We won’t get the two points back, that is the frustrating part of it,” Martinez added. “The level of the referee is diabolic in that respect. It is something that is very hurtful. Nobody deserves that. It is something that is down to a decision. If you ask any Chelsea fan they will tell you it was offside and over the time. That is not a point of view or a little bit of a debate. It is clear-cut and an incredible decision to see in what we consider the best league in the world.”
Wow. I have a feeling Martinez may be getting a letter, email, text — however they do it these days — from the English FA on Monday to explain these comments and could have a charge coming his way.
True, his team were robbed of two points late on and he is obviously frustrated given Everton let a 2-0 lead slip in this game, but the way in which he delivered that scathing verbal assault on the officials will likely see some kind of punishment heading his way.
As for Terry, 35, the legendary Chelsea skipper marked his 700th appearances for the Blues with the equalizer and lauded his team for their spirit despite going 2-0 down as they are now six games unbeaten under interim boss Hiddink. However, after conceding in shocking fashion in the 91st minute when Funes Mori was allowed to poke home unmarked, the Blues were lucky to escape this clash with a point.
“It was difficult, especially going 2-0 down when a lot of teams would have thrown the towel in,” Terry said. “But the fight, the desire from the squad, unbelievable. To come back, we were unlucky not to win the game, I think.”