LONDON, England, September 28 – Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho criticised the dismissal of striker Fernando Torres in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur and argued that his side deserved more from the game.
A 65th-minute header by captain John Terry earned Chelsea a draw in the Premier League tussle at White Hart Lane, after Gylfi Sigurdsson had given the home side a first-half lead.
However, Torres was shown a second yellow card for leading with his arm in an aerial challenge on Jan Vertonghen in the closing stages and Spurs came close to snatching victory before the final whistle sounded.
Chelsea had dominated the second half prior to the Spaniard’s dismissal, and although Mourinho felt Mike Dean’s decision to brandish a red card robbed his side of momentum at a crucial juncture, he reserved his strongest criticism for Vertonghen.
Asked if he felt a draw was a fair result, he told Sky Sports: “I don’t think it was, because I think they were better than us in the first half — they were better, but they didn’t create so many chances — but in the second half, there was only one team.
“The team was very, very strong, until the moment the referee made a mistake; a big mistake, but a mistake that has a big influence in the result.
“I think in these situations that the ref is not guilty. I think the player is guilty, because if nobody touches me and in this moment I fall, it’s not your fault, it’s my fault because I fall.”
He added: “When he (Vertonghen) pretends that Fernando had a big contact on him, the referee is at a distance and he makes the second yellow card. And at that moment, we were much better. They were in big trouble.
“At the end you finish with a bad taste, because we should have won.”
The game marked the first managerial contest between Mourinho and Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas, who worked under the Chelsea manager as an opposition scout during previous stints at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
The pair’s relationship reportedly broke down after Villas-Boas ended their collaboration by leaving Inter in 2009, and Mourinho was unwilling to discuss the matter.
“I keep saying that between men, not children, this is not public,” he said.
“This is between us, this is not for you (the media). What you want, what the people want, and we gave, is a very good football match.
“Tottenham gave that, we gave too, the referee tried to do his best — he made a huge mistake, but OK, everybody makes mistakes, so I accept that — so I think that’s the most important thing.
“Other things, if we want to resolve that, I’m 50 years old; I’m not going to do that as a kid.”
Villas-Boas also gave a question about his relationship with Mourinho short shrift, telling a reporter: “I’m not going to speak about this.”
He did concede, however, that Torres’s dismissal was a matter of contention.
“The ref made the decision. It’s a difficult one because both players go for the ball,” he said.
“In the end he decides that Fernando was over the top, but it was a good game in general. I’m extremely happy with the performance.”
He added: “In the second half we wanted to play a little bit more. The first minutes we were OK, but with their pressing, we started not having fluidity in our game. They did well to come back into the game.”