How could the ref have called that a goal Redknapp accuses Atkinson of guessing
00:43 GMT, 16 April 2012
Harry Redknapp accused Martin Atkinson of guessing after the referee incorrectly awarded Chelsea a ‘ghost goal’ in their 5-1 demolition of Tottenham on Sunday night.
The official wrongly judged that Juan Mata’s 49th-minute strike had crossed the line, giving Chelsea a 2-0 lead from which Spurs never recovered.
The Tottenham boss said Atkinson had apologised to him after Chelsea booked a place in the FA Cup final against Liverpool on May 5, but labelled the referee’s decision a ‘disaster’.
Ghost goal: The ball clearly did not cross the line from Juan Mata's shot
Redknapp said: ‘Did he guess He must have. He can’t have been sure. He’s just made a mistake, unfortunately.
‘I spoke to him. He says he feels worse than I do. I said: “I don’t think so”. But he says he feels bad.
‘He knows he’s made a mistake and he says he’ll have a bad week as well. There’s nothing we can do now. The second goal was a disaster, nowhere near a goal. An honest mistake, but nowhere near over the line. I don’t see how he can give it.’
Spurs captain Ledley King added: ‘I find it hard to believe that he could have seen it from where he was. You expect the linesman to make the decision and at 2-0 down it’s going to be a tough game against Chelsea.
Not even close: An ITV graphic shows the position of the ball when it struck Assou-Ekotto's foot
‘We were remonstrating with the referee, telling him it didn’t cross the line but he makes the decision and it’s a massive decision.’
Chelsea captain John Terry and Roberto Di Matteo both admitted they did not think the ball had crossed the line and the Chelsea boss joined Redknapp in calling for goal-line technology to be introduced.
Football’s rule makers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), are expected to make a decision at a meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 2.
But Di Matteo insisted he did not think the ‘ghost goal’ was decisive in Chelsea winning the game.
Admission: Terry said he did not think the ball had crossed the line
The Italian said: ‘I’m not sure. We had scored one already and then scored some more afterwards. If it had been a 1-0 win, maybe. But we scored four more goals apart from that one.
‘In this case we were on the lucky side, but many times before we’ve had decisions go against us. But we didn’t score two goals. We scored five. I don’t know how much it would matter. I can understand Spurs’ frustration, but we believe there was a penalty in our favour in the home game in the League – on Ramires – and we didn’t get it. Sometimes you get a decision. Other times you don’t.’
Terry was in the goalmouth scramble when Mata’s strike did not appear to cross the line and believes goal-line technology should be brought in.
‘I thought it hit me and stayed out but I haven’t seen it on the replays,’ said Terry. ‘We’ve been calling for goal-line technology for a very long time. Let’s hope that people make the right decisions.
Furious: Spurs' players protest after Atkinson awards the goal
‘It was an important game and fortunately it went our way. Throughout the season things go with you and go against you and here it’s gone with us and we’re delighted. I thought we were the better side and scored some great goals.’
Frank Lampard, who went on to score with a powerful free-kick which made it 4-1, was unsighted for the controversial goal as he took the corner that led to the scramble.
‘I didn’t see it,’ said the midfielder, who has won the FA Cup three times and now looks forward to facing Liverpool.
‘Fair enough if we got lucky there, we got lucky. The referee’s given it. We didn’t have a conversation about it. We scored a lot of goals and created a lot of chances and over the course of the game we deserved to win.
Stroke of luck: Lampard (right) celebrates Chelsea's third goal
‘It was an amazing game. I thought we played brilliantly. The first half was tough. Didier (Drogba) scored an absolute belter.
‘I think we deserved to win that game with the amount we created. Tottenham are a top side but we won it well.’
Meanwhile, Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has confirmed the club’s American owners will attend the final next month. Werner and John W Henry, the leading figures in Fenway Sports Group, were surprise absentees from Saturday’s 2-1 win over Everton, having flown back to America to watch the Boston Red Sox on Friday.
They had been in Liverpool last week to sack the club’s director of football Damien Comolli but Werner said: ‘Wembley will be a lovely place to visit in May.’