Sunday 25 February 2018

Vine: Did the Branislav Ivanovic try to bite Everton's James McCarthy?

Branislav Ivanovic (R) of Chelsea grapples with Everton's James McCarthy during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge
Branislav Ivanovic (R) of Chelsea grapples with Everton's James McCarthy during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge

Tom Sheen

Branislav Ivanovic has been accused of biting Everton midfielder James McCarthy in the melee that saw Gareth Barry sent off.

However, it is unclear whether the Chelsea defender attempted to bite McCarthy or was just tangling with him - some on social media say the Serbian tried to headbutt the Irishman.

Ivanovic appears to move his head towards the shoulder of McCarthy before John Stones attempts to pull the two players apart - Ivanovic later grabbed Stones around the throat.

Ivanovic was famously bitten by Luis Suarez when playing at Anfield in April 2013.

Speaking after the game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was not impressed by the suggestion that Ivanovic had either bitten or headbutted McCarthy.

"Did Branislav Ivanovic go in with his head? Don't make me laugh. Don't make me laugh," he told BT Sport.

Mourinho, who was last month fined £25,000 for saying there was a "clear campaign" against Chelsea, was not prepared to discuss the Ivanovic incident post-match or the possibility the Serbia defender would be banned.

"I'm concerned with my reaction, because one more question I leave. The next question for that story I have to go," he said.

Mourinho has already shown his displeasure at Diego Costa being suspended retrospectively for three matches for stamping on Liverpool's Emre Can.

The Blues boss continues to imply his side are unfairly treated and two decisions went in favour of Everton in the opening quarter of the contest.


A screen grab of Luis Suarez biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic from April 2013

Chelsea might have had a fourth-minute penalty when the ball hit Steven Naismith's arm, and Everton had another reprieve when Barry fouled Juan Cuadrado and Eden Hazard in quick succession but was booked only for the first offence.

Mourinho added: "I'm tired of stories and I'm never tired of football. Football is emotion and what we had here today.

"A discussion because of a red card, a red card that should be given in the first half, because Barry should be sent off in the first half. He pulled Hazard. The second yellow card should be given there."

Mourinho had no complaints with referee Moss' performance.

"I think it's a clear penalty. I also think the referee had a fantastic performance," the Blues boss added. "The official that disallowed the goal, it was a fantastic decision."

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