Retaliation now 'allowed' as Jose seethes at decision

Players and fans are bemused as sprinklers came on to water the pitch during the League Cup third-round match between Walsall and Chelsea. The interruption did not stop the Blues from cruising to a 4-1 away win.
Players and fans are bemused as sprinklers came on to water the pitch during the League Cup third-round match between Walsall and Chelsea. The interruption did not stop the Blues from cruising to a 4-1 away win.PHOTO:, REUTERS

LONDON • Jose Mourinho believes the English Football Association have set a dangerous precedent by rescinding Gabriel Paulista's suspension for kicking out at Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

The Arsenal player was originally banned for three matches but the FA disciplinary panel changed its mind after reviewing evidence of Costa's provocation that the referee missed in last Saturday's game.

"I don't really want to speak about the subject but we learnt something this week," Mourinho said after watching his side continue their revival by winning 4-1 at third-tier Walsall in the League Cup on Wednesday to record a third straight victory.

"Now we know that retaliation is officially allowed."

Asked whether the Gabriel incident was similar to the one which saw Nemanja Matic dismissed for kicking out at Burnley's Ashley Barnes last season, the Chelsea manager said he thought not.

KEEPING MUM

I don't comment. If I reveal my true feelings a big suspension will be waiting for me. The team have already lost a big player, they don't need to lose their manager as well.

JOSE MOURINHO, the Chelsea manager

"The two situations were not the same," he said. "You cannot compare a leg almost broken with a man-to-man discussion."

Predictably Mourinho did not want to speak about Costa picking up a three-match suspension for violent conduct for striking Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny at the weekend.

Costa began his ban on Wednesday and missed the League Cup third-round win. But with captain John Terry back in the team, the holders won through goals from Ramires, Loic Remy, full debutant Kenedy and Pedro Rodriguez.

"I don't comment. If I reveal my true feelings, a big suspension will be waiting for me," Mourinho said.

"The team have already lost a big player, they don't need to lose their manager as well. I'm happy to remain calm and quiet."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, while happy that ban was overturned, believes it does not go far to make up for a game that his team lost after going down to 10 men.

"It just shows that they decided after the game what should have happened during the game," he said.

"They repair 5 per cent of the damage that has been done to us.

"Instead of us playing 11 against 10, we played 10 against 11. (The ban being rescinded) doesn't help us too much.

"I watched the game again. It's better I don't talk too much because there are some things that were really surprising in this game, some incidents were really handled very lightly and not seriously, and it's better I don't talk to much because I'm still angry about it.

"It's just difficult to understand. One or two situations in the game are very difficult to understand when you watch it again."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2015, with the headline 'Retaliation now 'allowed' as Jose seethes at decision'. Print Edition | Subscribe