Monday 22 January 2018

QPR in trouble after Ivanovic hit by lighter

Branislav Ivanovic is hit by a lighter thrown from the crowd during the Chelsea v QPR match yesterday REUTERS
Branislav Ivanovic is hit by a lighter thrown from the crowd during the Chelsea v QPR match yesterday REUTERS

Queens Park Rangers are facing possible disciplinary action after Branislav Ivanovic appeared to be struck with a cigarette lighter during the celebrations for Chelsea's winning goal.

Objects were hurled towards the players and Ivanovic was left clutching the back of his head after Chelsea had scored in the 88th minute with their only shot on target.

A photograph subsequently showed a yellow cigarette lighter travelling towards Ivanovic. There were also plastic bottles and rolled-up programmes photographed on the side of the pitch.

The FA and QPR are expected to investigate, with QPR manager Chris Ramsey suggesting that any fan caught throwing missiles should be banned.

Jose Mourinho admitted that his team had been "fortunate" to beat their neighbours and appeared unconcerned by the incident.

"The game was correct on the pitch, correct in the stands, hopefully correct outside," he said.

"It's not easy, because emotionally a big game for them and us. The referee also helped, a very stable man who solves, not creates, problems in the game. If somebody threw a pound, put the pound in your pocket and go. If it's a chocolate, eat it. No problem."

With Chelsea now seven points clear of Arsenal with a game in hand, Mourinho sensed that the winner by Cesc Fabregas might be a decisive moment in the Premier League title race.

"Every time I was champion, I remember a couple of matches my team won in the last minute," he said. "A little light that shines for the team that are going to be champions.

"What I know is it's not normal for a team to be top of the league since day one. That's the team that deserves all the credit. Other teams have good runs. We had a good run since day one. I think we deserve it."

Mourinho admitted, however, that Chelsea had struggled yesterday. "It's difficult to play here. The pitch is short, not wide, slow - 1.30pm is not maybe the best time also to develop a game with intensity. Very defensive game from their point of view. So it was difficult to create.

"One point would be fair. Three points are fantastic for us. Obviously I feel sorry for QPR because they worked hard."

Chris Ramsey added: "I'm sick because we could have given the fans a big boost by getting a point. One proper chance and they score."

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