Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ivanovic's 'grab' on McCarthy a clear red card - claims Martinez as Mourinho stays silent

Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea grapples with Everton's James McCarthy
Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea grapples with Everton's James McCarthy

EVERTON manager Roberto Martinez insisted that Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic should have been sent off after an incident with James McCarthy in the dying minutes of Chelsea's 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge last night.

"If you look at images, Ivanovic's behaviour is wrong. It shouldn't be allowed. He grabbed McCarthy around the neck," insisted the Everton boss, who saw his side beaten by an 89th-minute winner from Willian.

"He reacts in a very forceful manner (to McCarthy). He puts his head against him. That's a red card."

"If you look at the images Ivanovic's behaviour is wrong. That shouldn't be allowed.

"He grabs James McCarthy around his neck in a very forceful manner, then he puts his head against him when James McCarthy never reacted one single bit.

"If you want to be on top of the laws that's a red card. We got nothing out of that moment."

His Chelsea counterpart, Jose Mourinho, who has claimed that there has been a campaign against his club this season, said "don't make me laugh" when the question was put to him about whether Ivanovic had done anything wrong.

Mourinho refused to answer any further questions on Ivanovic, adding: "One more question I will leave and after that you are not happy."

Mourinho, who was last month fined £25,000 for saying there was a "clear campaign" against Chelsea, was not prepared to discuss the possibility the Serbia defender could be banned.

Mourinho said: "I'm concerned with my reaction, because one more question I leave. And after that you are not happy. The next question for that story I have to go."

Mourinho had earlier told BT Sport: "Did Branislav Ivanovic go in with his head? Don't make me laugh. Don't make me laugh."

And in an interview with the BBC, when asked if he would punish a player if replays showed he had committed an offence, the Portuguese ended the interview, saying: "Sorry. See you tomorrow."

The incident came in a melee after Gareth Barry was sent off for a second bookable offence and took the gloss off what could prove to be a crucial victory as Chelsea maintained their seven-point lead over Manchester City, who thumped Stoke City 4-1 at the Britannia Stadium.

Irish Independent

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