Wednesday 17 January 2018

Chelsea without Thibaut Courtois for crucial Man City clash after red card appeal fails

Thibaut Courtois was sent off against Swansea on Saturday
Thibaut Courtois was sent off against Swansea on Saturday

Simon Peach

Thibaut Courtois will miss this weekend's trip to Manchester City after the Football Association rejected Chelsea's appeal for wrongful dismissal.

The feel-good factor around Stamford Bridge quickly dissipated on Saturday as the Blues began their Premier League title defence with a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea.

Jose Mourinho's side were somewhat fortunate to escape the match with a point, having spent much of the second half reduced to 10 men following Courtois' red card.

The Belgium goalkeeper was sent off after taking down Bafetimbi Gomis, with referee Michael Oliver awarding a spot-kick which the Frenchman slotted home.

Mourinho attempted to keep his counsel after the match yet could not help let slip that he felt officials had "punished" his side, with the Blues appealing the decision on Monday evening.

The FA heard the case on Tuesday afternoon but rejected the appeal, meaning Courtois' one-match ban stands.

"A claim of wrongful dismissal submitted by Chelsea in relation to Thibaut Courtois has been unsuccessful following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing earlier today," an FA statement read.

"The goalkeeper was dismissed for denying a goal scoring opportunity in the 52nd minute of Chelsea's game against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (8 August 2015).

"Therefore, the player's one-match suspension, which is the standard penalty for this offence, remains with immediate effect.

"For a club to be successful with a claim of wrongful dismissal, it must prove to an Independent Regulatory Commission via written and/or video evidence that the match referee made an obvious error."

Courtois' absence means Asmir Begovic is in line for his full Chelsea debut at the Etihad Stadium.

A summer signing from Stoke as a replacement for Petr Cech, the Bosnia international came off the bench against Swansea following Courtois' sending-off.

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