Tag Archives: mikel

Basle 1 Chelsea 2: David Luiz strikes winner after shocking penalty decision

Basle 1 Chelsea 2: Luiz strikes with last kick of the game after Swiss side level with questionable penalty… but the Brazilian shouldn't have been on the pitch

PUBLISHED:

20:58 GMT, 25 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:15 GMT, 25 April 2013

David Luiz scored a free-kick at the death to earn a crucial Europa League away win against Basle in the first-leg semi-final.

Moments earlier he had committed a late, high lunge, which should have seen him red carded.

It followed a shocking decision by referee Pavel Kralovec, when he adjudged Cesar Azpilicueta to have committed a foul in the area when it was clear he had not.

Fabian Schar struck from the spot to cancel out Victor Moses' first half header and seemingly earn Basle a draw.

Last gasp: David Luiz struck with what proved to be the final kick of the game

Last gasp: David Luiz struck with what proved to be the final kick of the game

Pure delight: Luiz celebrates wildly after scoring with a low free-kick

Pure delight: Luiz celebrates wildly after scoring with a low free-kick

Tucked away: Fabian Schar converted after a penalty was awarded for very little at all

Tucked away: Fabian Schar converted after a penalty was awarded for very little at all

Match facts

Basle: Sommer, Philipp Degen, Schar, Dragovic, Park, Fabian Frei, Salah, El-Nenny, Die, Stocker, Streller.

Subs: Vailati, David Degen, Diaz, Cabral, Sauro, Steinhofer, Zoua.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Luiz, Hazard, Ramires, Lampard, Moses, Torres.

Subs: Turnbull, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Cahill, Benayoun, Bertrand.

Ref: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic)

More to follow.

Away goal: Victor Moses' (right) header opened the scoring for Chelsea

Away goal: Victor Moses' (right) header opened the scoring for Chelsea

Topsy-turvy: The Nigerian winger celebrated in style

Topsy-turvy: The Nigerian winger celebrated in style

Topsy-turvy: The Nigerian winger celebrated in style with some of his trademark acrobatics

Aiming high: Rafa Benitez wants to take Chelsea to Europa League glory this season

Aiming high: Rafa Benitez wants to take Chelsea to Europa League glory this season

Magic man: Until he was substituted, Eden Hazard was the star of the show

Magic man: Until he was substituted, Eden Hazard was the star of the show

Frustration: Marco Streller reacts after missing a good opportunity as Chelsea sat back

Frustration: Marco Streller reacts after missing a good opportunity as Chelsea sat back

FA Cup: Team news ahead of the weekend"s fixtures from the firth round and fourth round replay

FA Cup: The guide to all this weekend's fixtures from the fifth round and fourth round replay

PUBLISHED:

09:43 GMT, 15 February 2013

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UPDATED:

10:06 GMT, 15 February 2013

The FA Cup returns to action this weekend as fourteen teams battle for a place in the quarter-finals while Chelsea host Brentford in a fourth round replay.

Here Sportsmail has teamed up with statistic giants Opta to bring you all the latest facts and team news ahead of ALL this weekend's fixtures, so keep checking this page throughout the day to see how your team will line up.

Dream ticket: Fourteen sides are battling for a quarter-final place this weekend

Dream ticket: Fourteen sides are battling for a quarter-final place this weekend

Fourth round replay

Chelsea v Brentford
David Luiz, Demba Ba, Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel are available for Chelsea's FA Cup fourth round replay with Brentford on Sunday after missing the Europa League win at Sparta Prague.

Luiz was suspended, Ba ineligible and Moses and Mikel rested, after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, while John Terry and Ashley Cole were unused substitutes.

Cole had a cold and Terry was not risked after a setback in his recovery from a knee injury, but the captain is in line to return in defence against the Bees. Oriol Romeu (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Up for the cup: Chelsea's John Terry could feature having been rested for Thursday's win at Sparta Prague

Up for the cup: Chelsea's John Terry could feature having been rested for Thursday's win at Sparta Prague

Only
once in the last 14 years have Chelsea failed to reach the fifth round
of the FA Cup. The Blues are unbeaten in four matches (all competitions)
against Brentford (W3 D1).

Before last month’s clash, their only
previous FA Cup meeting came in 1950. Chelsea won 1-0. Brentford have
won just one of their last six (D3 L2).

Chelsea have lost only two of their
last 18 replays in the FA Cup; winning 13. Of the three that went to
penalties, they have twice been eliminated on spot-kicks.

Fernando Torres’ only goal in his last 12 appearances for Chelsea came against Brentford in the original clash.

Marcello Trotta, on loan from Fulham, has scored three in four for Brentford (all comps).

In just nine FA Cup games for Chelsea, Juan Mata has played a part in 10 goals (scored four and assisted six).

Frank Lampard has been involved in 23 goals (scored 14 or assisted nine) in his last 24 appearances in the FA Cup.

Provisional Chelsea squad: Cech, Turnbull,
Hilario, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Ramires, Lampard, Torres, Mata, Oscar,
Mikel, Hazard, Ba, Ferreira, Marin, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta,
Benayoun, Bertrand, Ake, Moses.

Fifth round

Luton v Millwall
Millwall have won four of the five previous meetings between these two sides in the FA Cup; losing the other.

The Lions have won five and lost just one of their last eight clashes with Luton in all competitions.

In the last round, Luton became the first non-league side to win away at a top-flight team in the FA Cup since 1986 (Altrincham beating Birmingham City 2-1).

Luton are competing in fifth round for the first time since 1994.
The Hatters have progressed on five of their last six FA Cup fifth round ties; but never (from four meetings) when facing a team from a higher division.

Millwall have reached the FA Cup fifth round for the second time since they reached the final in 2004 (as well as last season).

Millwall have won 13 and lost none of their last 17 matches in the FA Cup against sides from lower divisions (excluding qualifiers).

Luton Town have won seven and lost none of their last eight games at home in all competitions.

The Blue Square Premier side have conceded just three goals in their last six at home; keeping three clean sheets in that run.
Millwall have won none of their last six on the road (in all competitions); losing four.

Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers
This is the seventh time that Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers have been drawn together in the FA Cup.

Arsenal have progressed on four occasions; although Blackburn were victorious in their last meeting (2007 Fifth Round) winning the replay 1-0 (after the initial match ended 0-0).

Arsenal are unbeaten in 34 games against lower ranked sides in the FA Cup (W27 D7).

The Gunners are also unbeaten in 34 FA Cup ties at home (W25 D9).
This will be Arsenal’s sixth appearance in the fifth round since winning the trophy in 2005. They have failed to progress on three of the previous five occasions.

Olivier Giroud bagged a brace in the fourth round for Arsenal and has scored five in his last five appearances for the London club.

Jordan Rhodes has bagged nine goals in his last 10 appearances for Blackburn in all competitions.

Rovers have won six and lost just one of their last 10 in all competitions.
Arsenal have won five of their last seven in all competitions at the Emirates (D1 L1).

Blackburn have lost three of their last four visits to the Emirates by at least four goals on each occasion (D1; all competitions).

The two games between Arsenal and Blackburn in the Premier League last season produced 15 goals.

MK Dons v Barnsley
This will be the first meeting between MK Dons and Barnsley in the FA Cup.

Three of the previous five meetings between the two clubs in all competitions have ended in draws.

This is the first time MK Dons have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Karl Robinson’s side have won four and lost none of their last six home matches in the FA Cup.

Since beating QPR 4-2 in the fourth round, MK Dons have lost three of four matches (D1), scoring only two goals.

Barnsley have won six and lost none of their last seven in all competitions.
Jason Scotland has scored three goals in just 75 minutes of action for Barnsley this season (three sub appearances).

Izale McLeod, who returned to MK Dons in the January transfer window, scored for the Dons in the first ever clash between these two sides back in August 2004.

Oldham Athletic v Everton
Oldham are unbeaten in five matches against Everton in the FA Cup (W3 D2).

The last time the sides met, Oldham left Goodison Park with 1-0 win in the FA Cup third round in 2008.

Everton have won just one of their last five visits to Oldham in all competitions (D2 L2). Everton are unbeaten in their last seven away games in the FA Cup (W5 D2).

The Toffees have won four of their last six on the road (D1 L1); with their only loss in that run coming at Old Trafford last weekend.

The Latics have won just three of their last 12 (in all competitions). However, two of those wins have come in the last three.

Forward Lee Barnard has scored in each of his two appearances for Oldham signing joining on loan from Southampton.

Left-back Leighton Baines has scored four times in his last eight appearances for Everton in all competitions.

Manchester City v Leeds United
This will mark the sixth occasion that Manchester City and Leeds United have clashed in the FA Cup. Leeds lead the head-to-head with three wins to two.

The two teams met in the fifth round back in 1977. Leeds won 1-0 at Elland Road.

None of the last four matches between the two sides in all competitions have ended in an away win (three home wins and a draw).

The Premier League Champions have won six of their last nine in all competitions but are without a win in three (D2 L1)

Neil Warnock’s side have lost five of their last seven on the road (W1 D1; all comps).

The Whites have not kept a clean sheet away from home this season.
Ross McCormack has scored four goals in his last six for Leeds.

Manchester City have conceded just two goals in their last five home games in all competitions; keeping four clean sheets.

The last time the two teams met in March 2004, James Milner started in midfield for Leeds.

Huddersfield Town v Wigan Athletic
The only previous meeting between the two teams in the FA Cup was back 1977. Huddersfield won 2-0 at home.

Wigan have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1987.

The Latics have won six of their last 10 away FA Cup matches against sides from lower divisions.

Roberto Martinez’s side have kept only two clean sheets in their last nine in all comps. Both were in the FA Cup.

Huddersfield have lost 11 of their last 15 FA Cup matches against top flight opposition (W1 D3). The victory (over Birmingham City) came in their last home match against Premier League opposition.

Town have lost two of their last eight (W3 D2), after going on a ten-match run without a victory (D5 L5).

The Terriers’ last seven goals in all competitions have been netted by different scorers.

Jordi Gomez has scored twice in Wigan’s three FA Cup matches this season. Shaun Maloney has netted in his last two games for Wigan.

Manchester United v Reading
The last two times Man Utd have beaten Fulham at Old Trafford in the FA Cup (as they did in the last round), they have gone on to win it (2004, 1999).

Manchester United are unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions against Reading (W8 D4). The last time they lost to Reading was in the FA Cup in January 1927.

The Red Devils have won 15 of their last 19 home ties in the FA Cup (D2 L2). Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have conceded just one goal in their last five FA Cup matches at Old Trafford.

This is the third time in the last four years that Reading have reached the FA Cup fifth round; and only the eighth time in their history. On each of the last two appearances, they have progressed to the last eight.

Only once in the last 12 occasions that Reading have drawn against opponents from the same division in the FA Cup have they progressed to the next round.

Wayne Rooney has scored three goals in his last two starts against Reading.

Adam Le Fondre has scored seven goals in his last seven appearances for Reading in all competitions. He also scored against Manchester United earlier this season.

The clash between the two teams earlier in the season (in the Premier League) saw seven goals scored in the opening 35 minutes.

Jack Wilshere wants Theo Walcott to sign new Arsenal contract

Don't Jack it in here, Theo! Wilshere pleads for Walcott to sign new Arsenal deal

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 23 December 2012

Jack Wilshere has urged close friend Theo Walcott to give Arsenal six of the best by signing his new deal.

Arsenal persuaded five of British football’s brightest talents, including midfielder Wilshere, to extend their contracts last week, but an impasse remains with Walcott.

‘Everybody at the club wants Theo to re-sign. But that is something he has to sort out, it is up to him and the club if they can reach an agreement and I hope they do,’ said Wilshere, after Mikel Arteta’s penalty had given them a 1-0 win at Wigan.

Friends: Jack Wilshere (left) is keen for Theo Walcott to sign a new deal

Friends: Jack Wilshere (left) is keen for Theo Walcott to sign a new deal

‘Theo’s been great for us. We just signed five British boys so hopefully he can be the sixth and cap it off.

‘I’m always winding him up, saying, “C’mon Theo, sign”. It’s up to him and the club. Theo knows what he means to us and what he means to the fans.’

Wilshere hopes that the 24-year-old will be influenced by the lead shown by himself, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

He added: ‘I think he looked at that. We’re all great friends, the British boys, we all go out together, have meals together and sit together when we’re on the road, so hopefully he can follow us and sign.’

Wilshere’s return from a 16-month injury lay-off appears to have had recuperative effects on Arsenal.

Brit of all right: (left to right) Aaron Ramsey, Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Wilshere train at London Colney this week

Brit of all right: (left to right) Aaron Ramsey, Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Wilshere train at London Colney this week

Another win on the road…

ARSENAL have won 16 points away from home this season, but are 12th in the home form table.

Away P W D L Pts
1 Man Utd 10 7 1 2 22
2 Arsenal 10 4 4 2 16
3 Man City 8 4 4 0 16

Home
11 Liverpool 10 4 3 3 15
12 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 14

They have won five of the eight Premier League matches he has appeared in, including the last three, their best run since March.

On Saturday at Wigan, to the delight of Arsene Wenger, he combined technical acumen with bravery.

Never better illustrated than during the first period when he timed a sliding challenge on Shaun Maloney to perfection, only to be cautioned by referee Jon Moss.

‘I think it was a foul on Wilshere by Maloney. It looked a perfect tackle. I think he was a bit provoked by the crowd reaction,’ said Wenger.

‘I like Wilshere. After 25 minutes you look at him and he is dirty from top to bottom.’

This is a very different Arsenal midfield to the one the 20-year-old was used to before his catalogue of injuries. Having previously operated alongside Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song, Wilshere’s relationship with Spanish duo Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla is developing apace.

Midfield maestro: Wilshere is on a fine run of form

Midfield maestro: Wilshere is on a fine run of form

‘Suddenly, there are a lot of good things to talk about. But let’s not go overboard,’ urged Wenger, after his side moved into the Champions League places.

‘As much as we had not to be depressed after what happened previously, we have to keep our feet on the ground and focus on the next game.

‘I always said the group is very good mentally and that will come out in the end and hopefully we can show that now.

‘Our game is based on movement and technical quality and fluency and that demands confidence so it is very important we have confidence to play.

‘The domination was not convincing but we got the three points and it is important that you win these kinds of games, too. We have rebuilt the team and how far we go will be decided from now on.’

One person who will not be part of the revolution is long-term target Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has extended his contract with Schalke for another two years until June 2015.

Michael Laudrup plays rugby for Swansea

Laudrup unveils bizarre new training method ahead of Swansea's visit to Arsenal

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 30 November 2012

The Wales rugby team use frozen cryotherapy chambers, Andy Murray does chin ups with weights strapped around his waist and the All Blacks do sprint work while standing on medicine balls – but this technique is new on all of us.

It seems Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has been preparing to face Arsene Wenger's Arsenal team by getting his side to play football with a rugby ball.

The former Barcelona man was known for his skills when he won four consecutive La Liga titles but he never showed he could do this.

Michael Laudrup

Michael Laudrup

Taking the Michael: The Swansea manager messes around with a rugby ball on Friday and coach Kristian O'Leary (below) gets in on the action, too

Kristian O'Leary

Swansea head to north London boosted by a superb display in the 3-1 win over West Brom in midweek but Pablo Hernandez, one of the architects of that victory, will not face the Gunners because of a thigh injury.

And Laudrup is unsure whether the Spain winger will be back in time to face Norwich a week on Saturday.

He said: 'We don't know yet how bad it is, it is a small muscle injury but for Saturday it will be impossible.

'If he could play against Norwich that would be a good sign. It depends on how it heals.

'If we are lucky he could be back against Norwich, if it is a bit more serious it could be maybe two or three weeks.

'These muscle injuries happen the longer you go with a lot of games, it is part of the game you have to accept and that's why you have a squad so you can use them. From Christmas through New Year, especially if we get through in the cups, we will have a lot of games.'

Mark Clattenburg will be in charge of tomorrow's fixture, having returned to action at Southampton in midweek after being cleared of racially abusing Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel.

And Laudrup is pleased to see the official back in action. He said: 'It is good to see this case is finally closed and he is back. He is a good referee and we have to try to help him by playing fair.

'If we think he makes a mistake the players can tell him, that's no problem, but it is good it is over.

'These cases have to be solved quickly so no-one can speculate as the more time it takes, the more speculation there is. But it is over, he is back and he will want to forget what happened, learn from it and get on with his life and his refereeing.'

Going Potty: Stoke have been compared to a rugby team

Going Potty: Stoke have been compared to a rugby team

Mark Clattenburg criticised by both managers on return

Welcome back! Ref Clattenburg slammed by Adkins and Hughton on return

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UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 28 November 2012

Mark Clattenburg came under fire on his return to Premier League refereeing at St Mary's on Wednesday night.

The 37-year-old official took charge of his first game since being wrongly accused of racially abusing John Obi Mikel on October 28 in the 1-1 draw between Southampton and Norwich.

But Clattenburg ended up being criticised by BOTH managers after the final whistle

Back: Referee Mark Clattenburg returned to duty on Wednesday night

Back: Referee Mark Clattenburg returned to duty on Wednesday night

The Tyne and Wear official missed a Rickie Lambert's handball in the lead up to the striker putting Southampton ahead in the 32nd minute.

And Norwich boss Chris Hughton said: 'I have seen it again and the first impression of the players there were to appeal for handball.

'I spoke to a couple of players that were very close to the incident and they both said it was handball.

'Nothing has changed my mind since seeing it. I think it is a difficult one as there were a lot of bodies there but certainly it was a handball.

'But we showed enough character to get back in and we've done that. We have had two tough away games and we have done well.'

The decisions surrounding both goals may have left the managers frustrated but both were pleased to see Clattenburg refereeing again.

'He is an excellent referee,' Hughton
said. 'I think probably more than the actual performance itself, I
think I speak for most when I say we were absolutely delighted to see
him back.

Under fire: Clattenburg was criticised by both managers after the game

Under fire: Clattenburg was criticised by both managers after the game

'He has a real passion for what he does and he is very, very good at what he does.

'We need as many good referees and them performing week in, week out.'

Saints manager Nigel Adkins was not overly complimentary about Clattenburg on his return to the game.

The Liverpudlian was aggrieved that the referee awarded Norwich the free-kick that led to their goal, and said: 'I didn't think it was a free kick at the time and I still don't after seeing it again.

'I've spoken to [Nathaniel] Clyne who says he touched the ball. We are disappointed it has been given and he made some other interesting calls during the course of the night.

But Adkins also said: 'Of course I am pleased to see him back.

'It was an unfortunate situation that arose and meant he was out for a month, but he is a fine referee and has a great career in front of him.'

Mark Clattenburg sues Chelsea as referee returns at Spurs v West Ham

Refs sue Chelsea! Clattenburg set to demand compensation over race claims… as official returns at Spurs v West Ham

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UPDATED:

11:57 GMT, 23 November 2012

Referees union Prospect are to sue
Chelsea on behalf of Mark Clattenburg after the club were shown to have
wrongly accused the Premier League referee of racially abusing John
Mikel Obi.

Alan Leighton, the national secretary of the union, insists the case is being pursued on two grounds, both that the allegation has affected Clattenburg's life and professional standing, and in order to deter any such claims being made public in the future.

Clattenburg returns to action as fourth official on Sunday for the London derby between West Ham and Tottenham, while he'll take centre stage on Wednesday for the Southampton v Norwich clash at St Marys.

No action: Mark Clattenburg has no case to answer while John Mikel Obi (right) has been charged by the FA

No action: Mark Clattenburg has no case to answer while John Mikel Obi (right) has been charged by the FA

Leighton was speaking to the Today
programme on BBC Radio 4, when he said: 'I don't know if we get an
apology from Chelsea. I hope we will. It would be the classy thing to
do, it would be the right thing to do more importantly.

'There needs to be a recognition that
Mark’s reputation has been tarnished, been dragged through the mud, his
integrity has been impugned and it’s unfortunate that the Chelsea
statement makes not a scintilla of recognition of the damage that has
been done to Mark.

'Chelsea didn’t need to do what they
did in the way that they did it. They could have kept the reporting of
the incident confidential and they didn’t need to pursue it once they’d
realised that the only evidence they had was the statement of Ramires
when there was contradictory evidence.'

And Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has also offered his support.

The Scot said: 'I didn't believe it anyway. Everyone in the game is pleased for him now, apart from Chelsea.'

On Thursday, the Football Association
concluded their three-week investigation into events during the
explosive clash between Manchester United and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
on October 28 by completely exonerating a match official who, it was
alleged, had called Mikel a ‘monkey’.

Mikel was charged by the FA over the angry confrontation in Clattenburg’s dressing room following the match.

But even after the FA exposed the irrational nature of the accusations, Chelsea officials did not have the decency to say sorry to a 37-year-old family man who spoke of this being the most stressful time of his professional life and feared the case would wreck his career.

Sitting out: Clattenburg has not taken charge of a game since the match against Manchester United last month

Sitting out: Clattenburg has not taken charge of a game since the match against Manchester United last month

GRAHAM POLL OFFICIAL LINE

I didn’t referee Chelsea for three months after they attempted to discredit me in 2006 – and I can see Mark Clattenburg being kept off their games for a similar period.

Ashley Cole had accused me of having told Chelsea’s players that I wanted to 'teach them a lesson', and Terry said I had said one thing to him on the pitch and changed my story in the dressing room after the game.

It was all simply untrue but I was subject to an FA investigation which lasted three weeks from the match on November 5 at White Hart Lane.

I was finally handed a Chelsea match again in February 2007 against Blackburn. Jose Mourinho had instructed his players not to talk to me – about anything.

I didn’t hear a peep from one of them until during the second half when Didier Drogba sidled up to me, turned his back to the bench and said: 'It'll all be back to normal soon. We know you’re a good ref really.'

Chelsea's players won't have a big problem with Clattenburg. They are professional footballers who just want to get on with playing.

The official won't be comfortable not refereeing the Blues. He already has declared an allegiance to Newcastle, so he is unable to officiate their matches and Sunderland's – due to the north-east rivalry.

If he's kept off Chelsea, does that mean he’ll have to miss Manchester United, City and Arsenal fixtures because he may have an influence on the title race. That thinking does not sit easily with referees.

No ref wants to miss out on big fixtures.

He will also want to prove to Chelsea that their slurs have not affected him – he's a chin-out type of character and referees in the same vein.

Remember when Sir Alex Ferguson hammered Martin Atkinson after the Portsmouth FA Cup tie at Old Trafford Atkinson didn’t referee United again for over a season.

Chris Foy has Chelsea this Sunday for the first time since the race-row match at Loftus Road when he sent off Jose Bosingwa and Drogba – that's well over a year.

Clattenburg didn’t take charge of Everton for over two seasons when he was criticised for failing to send off Dirk Kuyt at Goodison in the Merseyside Derby.

I was kept from Arsenal home matches for more than two seasons. I was happy with that. David Dein suggested it was for the best that I only take Arsenal away. I agreed, something had gone wrong in my mind.

I returned to Arsenal for the visit of Manchester United – then it was all about the fixture, not me, the referee.

I didn’t even warm up on the pitch. Gary Lewin gave me a massage instead. The match was well underway before anyone had realised I was in the middle.

After a visit from a member of the
FA’s governance team in the wake of the association's announcement,
Clattenburg emerged from 26 days of personal turmoil to issue a
statement.

‘I am looking
forward to putting this behind me and concentrating on refereeing in the
Premier League and other competitions,’ he said.

‘The
messages of encouragement from those inside and outside of the game
have helped me through the most stressful time of my professional life.

‘To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was frightening.

‘Racism has no place in football and
this experience should not discourage those to speak out if they
genuinely believe they are a victim of abuse. However, there are
processes that should be adhered in order that any investigation can be
carried out in a manner that is fair for all parties involved.

‘I know first-hand the ramifications
of allegations of this nature being placed into the public domain ahead
of a formal process and investigation. I hope no referee has to go
through this in the future.

‘We are fortunate to be working in the
world’s most watched and scrutinised football league. With that comes a
responsibility in regard to how the different parts of the game work
together.’

Clattenburg’s statement highlights the fact that Chelsea’s briefing of the media prior to a formal process and investigation offended him deeply.

Prospect had also said in the aftermath: 'There was no doubt he was innocent.There are lessons to
be learned. Mark is very upset his reputation has been dragged through
the mud by this process. There was no need for Chelsea to make the
public aware of the allegation.

‘There is also an issue of flimsiness
about the evidence provided. We need Chelsea to accept the verdict,
apologise to Mark and compensate him for that.’

The FA statement highlighted ‘the essential facts’ that proved there was no substance in Chelsea’s allegations.

It said: ‘The evidence for the
allegation came from one witness, Ramires. Ramires, whose first language
is not English, explained that his instinctive reaction was to seek
confirmation from John Mikel Obi as to what the referee had said.’

’John Mikel Obi, who was being spoken
to by the referee, was much closer to the referee than Ramires and did
not hear what it is suggested was said to him.

’Three other witnesses, i.e. the other
match officials, to whom everything said by referee was relayed via
their communication equipment, are adamant the alleged words were not
uttered. There is nothing in the video footage to support the
allegation.’

’For completeness, but of lesser
weight, two other players, whose first language is English and were in
the vicinity, did not hear anything untoward.’

The FA said they had to re-interview Ramires ‘to show him the previously unseen video footage provided by the club’.

‘At
this stage, for the first time, the exact point at which the comment
was alleged to have been made was established,’ the statement continued.

Back to work: Clattenburg has missed four weeks of Premier League fixtures since the controversial game

Back to work: Clattenburg has missed four weeks of Premier League fixtures since the controversial game

The complaint collapsed with the emergence of that video. All the witnesses were then interviewed again, with Ramires even unsure as to when the alleged incident occurred.

Mike Riley, general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Limited, said: ‘It is PGMOL’s considered view that Mark is completely exonerated of the allegation and he will return to active duty shortly without any stain on his character or reputation.

‘Regrettably, Mark has had to endure four weeks that have brought massive disruption to his professional and personal life through no fault of his own.’

Chelsea Mark Clattenburg fiasco: Ron Gourlay should resign – Jonathan McEvoy

The enemies of football are now pariahs of the Premier League… Gourlay should pay with his job for this

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 22 November 2012

For a cabal that has found it easy to spread so much insinuation and so many insults about so many innocent parties, Chelsea cannot bring themselves to utter the one appropriate word.

Sorry was not to be heard in the wind howling down Fulham Road last night. It was as predictable an omission as it was sad.

The FA had found the club’s accusation that referee Mark Clattenburg called John Mikel Obi a ‘monkey’ did not stand up to scrutiny. All logic and instinct had told us that the minute the claim was made on October 28 following Chelsea’s acrimonious defeat by Manchester United.

No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded - but they won't say sorry

No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded – but they won't say sorry

Sky TV had failed with all 20 of their cameras to pick up the racial slur. The other officials cleared Clattenburg of wrongdoing. Chelsea had a record of intimidation and arrogance.

What is more, Clattenburg speaks with a Geordie accent. Anyone who has spent time in a Newcastle pub will tell you how those tones can be faintly indecipherable to English ears let alone to a Brazilian, namely Ramires, who thought he heard the insult despite the backdrop of a noisy stadium. Ramires’ recollections were translated for the rest of the team by David Luiz, another Brazilian. Mikel, the supposed victim who has good English, did not hear the word monkey spoken.

Despite all this — and after the shameful saga of John Terry, Chelsea’s totem, calling Anton Ferdinand a black **** — the club were going public within hours about Clattenburg’s supposed crime. They also claimed Juan Mata was called a ‘Spanish t***’, an accusation later withdrawn.

Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

Why did they not keep quiet while they considered if a complaint was worthwhile That is a question for Ron Gourlay, the chief executive. A second question for him is: will you resign after this fiasco
Harsh Hardly. This is a club drunk on its own oxygen and wealth.

Take Rafa Benitez’s unveiling as the ninth manager of Roman Abramovich’s nine-year reign. He is the latest pawn in a billionaire’s game where normal employment rights — like reward for success — do not count because he can afford to override them.

No wonder the men on the pitch and in the boardroom adopt such high-handedness when the boss sets such a rebarbative example.

The litany of modern Chelsea’s bullying of referees is without parallel in British football.

Remember him Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

Remember him Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

The crime sheet goes back as far as February 2005, when the then manager Jose Mourinho accused Anders Frisk of collusion with Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard during Chelsea’s defeat at the Nou Camp that saw Didier Drogba sent off. Chelsea were charged with inappropriate conduct and Mourinho was banned from the touchline. Frisk retired after receiving death threats.

Mourinho was cast as an ‘enemy of football’ by UEFA referees’ committee chairman Volker Roth.
Since then the wrath has been incited not just on the continent but also closer to home. Chelsea have gone from the enemies of European football to the pariahs of the Premier League.

In November 2006, Graham Poll sent off Terry as Chelsea lost to Tottenham for the first time in 16 years. Terry accused the referee of changing his explanation over why he had shown the red card.
The delightful Ashley Cole chimed in, saying Poll had warned Chelsea players he wanted to ‘teach us a lesson’. A fortnight later, Chelsea withdrew the accusation and Terry was fined 10,000.

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Fast forward to May 2009, when Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo turned down four Chelsea penalty appeals. Admittedly, it was a shocking refereeing performance but not as wayward as the reaction of Drogba and Jose Bosingwa, who both turned on Ovrebo at the final whistle. Drogba screamed ‘It’s a f***ing disgrace’ into a television camera. Ovrebo was still being subjected to vile emails from Chelsea fans as late as this spring.

Last October after that infamous game against QPR, Chelsea were fined 20,000 for failing to control their players. Drogba and Bosingwa were dismissed in the first half. Manager Andre Villas-Boas called it a ‘very poor display’ — by the referee, that is, not his players.

The unfortunate referee then was Chris Foy. /11/22/article-2237127-0608100D0000044D-767_634x456.jpg” width=”634″ height=”456″ alt=”Sound familiar Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006″ class=”blkBorder” />

Sound familiar Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006

So back to Chelsea’s weasel words in response to the FA findings. They said: ‘Chelsea FC has a duty of care, as do all employers, to act responsibly when such allegations are reported by employees.’

It smacked of the usual one-eyed, self-serving nonsense that fails to acknowledge a wider obligation to football itself or the lightly trampled reputation of a blameless referee.

We are Chelsea. We snarl and we smear. Who says we should say sorry

Juventus 3 Chelsea 0 match report – Roberto Di Matteo set to be sacked after Champions League defeat

Juventus 3 Chelsea 0: On the way out… humiliated holders facing new Champions League low as Di Matteo heads for the exit

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UPDATED:

08:17 GMT, 21 November 2012

ELSEWHERE IN GROUP E…
Adriano

Chelsea are close to crashing out of the Champions League after group rivals Shakhtar were put on their way to a vital 5-2 win over Nordsjaelland by a highly controversial goal.

Read all about Luiz Adriano's goal here

A growing feeling of powerlessness may have overwhelmed Roberto Di Matteo as he stood, frozen, on the touchline in Turin.

The match had long passed beyond his control, the qualification process, too. After this disaster, with Shakhtar Donetsk already through, the Ukrainians could field a reserve team in their last match against Juventus, who would only need a point to accompany them into the final 16.

Chelsea's last group game, at home to Champions League whipping boys Nordsjaelland of Denmark, could be rendered an irrelevance. It was out of his hands now.

Lucky Fabio Quagliarella turned in a strike past Petr Cech

Lucky Fabio Quagliarella turned in a strike past Petr Cech

MATCH FACTS

Juventus: Buffon, Chiellini, Barzagli, Bonucci, Lichtsteiner (Caceres 68), Marchisio, Pirlo, Asamoah, Vidal, Vucinic (Giovinco 83), Quagliarella (Pogba 89)

Subs not used: Storari, Caceres, Pepe, Giaccherini, Matri

Booked: Bonucci, Marchisio, Giovinco

Goals: Quagliarella 38, Vidal 61, Giovinco 90

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, David Luiz, Cahill, Azpilicueta (Moses 60), Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Mikel (Torres 71), Hazard

Subs not used: Turnbull, Bertrand, Romeu, Marin, Piazon

Booked: Ramires

Referee: Cuneyt Cakır

Attendance: 40,000

In that case, the champions of Europe
song the fans loved so much would have to go as well. We know what we
are, they sing. And what they soon will be if third place in Group E
beckons, as is likely. The most short-lived winners of the Champions League. The first to exit the following season at the group stage.

A place in the last 16 should be the
minimum requirement for a team that paraded the biggest prize in club
football around the Allianz Arena little more than six months ago.

Hell, Chelsea could be crowned world
champions by FIFA next month. World champions and in the Europa League
after Christmas. What part of that picture doesn't fit

And then there were Di Matteo's own
prospects, his chances of seeing out the season as Chelsea manager.
That was where he had least power of all. Everyone knew who called the
shots at Stamford Bridge, and it wasn't him.

So Di Matteo stood, dressed to kill
as coach of one of the most important clubs in world football, and he
had all the power over his position of a first-week apprentice.

Oh dear: Arturo Vidal doubled Juventus' lead

Oh dear: Arturo Vidal doubled Juventus' lead

Now what Juan Mata (left) and Eden Hazard wait to re-start the game

Now what Juan Mata (left) and Eden Hazard wait to re-start the game

Di Matteo gambled big in Turin but
the scoreline revealed a busted flush. /11/20/article-2235996-16233065000005DC-544_634x365.jpg” width=”634″ height=”365″ alt=”Final nail: Sebastian Giovinco scored Juventus' third goal” class=”blkBorder” />

Final nail: Sebastian Giovinco scored Juventus' third goal

Final nail: Sebastian Giovinco scored Juventus' third goal
Why Roman has run out of patience

Roman Abramovich was furious when Chelsea surrendered a two-goal lead at home to Juventus, drawing 2-2 on September 19. Despite an impressive 4-2 win at Tottenham on October 20, they have won just two of their eight matches since. Oct 23: Lost 2-1 away to Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League). Oct 28: Lost 3-2 at home to Manchester United (Premier League). Oct 31: Beat United 5-4 at home after extra time (Capital One Cup). Nov 3: Drew 1-1 at Swansea (Premier League). Nov 7: Beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2 (Champions League). Nov 11: Drew 1-1 at home to Liverpool (Premier League). Nov 17: Lost 2-1 away to West Bromwich Albion (Premier League). Nov 20: Lost 3-0 away to Juventus (Champions League).

Juve won the game in midfield. Arturo
Vidal and Claudio Marchisio, either side of Andrea Pirlo, were the
stars of the night and the Italians got far too much joy down the
flanks.

Chelsea threatened occasionally on
the break, but no more. Their struggles are often attributed to the end
of an era of hugely influential players. Drogba gone, Lampard ageing,
Terry and Ashley Cole in their twilight years. Yet Cech soldiers on,
captain last night, and without him the score could have been
embarrassing.

The game was only three minutes old
when he was forced to make a brilliant save from Stephan Lichtsteiner,
and it set the tone for the night. In the 15th minute, he needed to be
at his best again: a short corner by Pirlo, teed up by Mirko Vucinic and
struck by Marchisio, kept out by Cech, diving low.

Other duties were comparatively
straightforward, the odd long-range effort from Pirlo or Fabio
Quagliarella, but Cech's handling was excellent. It was no surprise that
when Juventus did finally break the deadlock it was as much by luck as
judgment.

Helpless: Ashley Cole and his team-mates were overpowered by a well organised Juventus

Helpless: Ashley Cole and his team-mates were overpowered by a well organised Juventus

Remember me Zinedine Zidane was is the crowd watching his old club

Remember me Zinedine Zidane was is the crowd watching his old club

Can Chelsea still qualify The only way Chelsea can go through is if they beat Nordsjaelland and Juventus lose to Shakhtar. If Shakhtar lose and finish level with Chelsea on 10 points, the Ukrainians would progress due to a better head-to-head record.

Pirlo hit an optimistic shot from
outside the area which Cech had covered until Quagliarella intervened,
diverting it with a glancing blow that left the goalkeeper frantically
changing direction, but in vain. He got a hand to it, but this was not
enough and Juventus were ahead. Could Cech have done better The images
were not flattering. Yet given the form he was in last night it would be
most out of character to err in this way. More than any Chelsea player, he deserved the benefit of the doubt.

Juventus Stadium erupted. It really
is a love-in here these days. The hated Stadio delle Alpi with its
mood-killing running track and cavernous empty spaces is now flat,
replaced by a shiny compact new arena.

Maestro: Andrea Pirlo deputised in midfield for Juventus

Maestro: Andrea Pirlo deputised in midfield for Juventus

Jubilant: Gianluigi Buffon was ecstatic after the third goal

Jubilant: Gianluigi Buffon was ecstatic after the third goal

Judging by the atmosphere at last
night's game, the club has rarely felt so at one with its fans. Raucous
and close to the action, suddenly Juventus are a football club again
rather than this strangely stateless institution, as popular in the
south of the country as they were in their own city.

Chelsea were restricted to isolated
counter-attacking chances, although one at least touched the realms of
the truly spectacular. It came in the ninth minute when Juan Mata fed
Oscar who went on a mesmerising 60-yard run, eluding at least three
Juventus players and finishing by feeding the ball to Eden Hazard who
should have done more with his shot, tipped round by Gianluigi Buffon in
the Juve goal.

Outclassed: Petr Cech was helpless to prevent the goals flying in

Outclassed: Petr Cech was helpless to prevent the goals flying in

On the bench, Torres no doubt
consoled himself that he could have dealt with it better, but he
couldn't. That was why he was on the bench. Introduced late in the game
for John Mikel Obi, he made negligible difference.

A botched clearance from David Luiz –
is there any other kind – had to be cleared from the line by Cole or
Chelsea could have gone in at half time two down, but Juventus did not
have to wait an age for the goal that sealed victory.

Kwadwo Asamoah made another powerful
run down the left and cut the ball back precisely for the late-arriving
Vidal, whose shot struck Ramires, diverting the ball through the legs of
Cech. /11/20/article-2235996-16233DBD000005DC-601_634x417.jpg” width=”634″ height=”417″ alt=”On the brink: Roberto Di Matteo suffered a devastating defeat in Turin ” class=”blkBorder” />

On the brink: Roberto Di Matteo suffered a devastating defeat in Turin

When substitute Sebastian Giovinco
sprung the high-line defence, there really was no need for him to come
chasing off his line quite so dramatically, with Cole covering. It made
Giovinco's mind up and he finished first-time from 30 yards.

At that moment, it became Chelsea's
biggest defeat in Europe in 12 years. They weren't reigning champions
then, however, and the Roman Abramovich years were still to come. So
this is a big one. A landmark.

Just the thought of playing Juventus
cost Luiz Felipe Scolari his job in 2009 because Abramovich was not
convinced his coach would beat them. The reality may do for Di Matteo
now.

This is a record defeat in Europe for
Abramovich era Chelsea, but one man has the power to address that, and
no doubt will. It's not the manager, by the way.

Juventus Stadium Match Zone, by Matt Barlow It's a ton of trouble for Cole

Ashley Cole was back after a hamstring injury to make his 100th European appearance. His first was in Arsenal's 4-2 win over Sparta Prague in 2000 but this was never likely to be so comfortable.

With his first contribution Cole failed to clear and conceded a chance to Stephan Lichtsteiner, who, seconds later, beat him to Andrea Pirlo's pass. Both efforts were saved by Petr Cech but Cole did make a brilliant goal-line clearance before the break.

No substitute for experience

Only three players – Ashley Cole, Petr Cech and John Mikel Obi – were in the Chelsea team which drew 2-2 with Juventus in Turin in March 2009.

It underlines the team's transformation in the race to 'Be like Barca' and the absence of big-game experience when names like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba are removed. For all their pace on the break, there is still some value in having know-how on the pitch.

Bendtner left out of Juventus squad

No sign of Nicklas Bendtner in the Juventus team, not even on the bench. The former Arsenal striker was left to contemplate his art collection and another coach who misunderstands him.

Bendtner's chances of being involved vanished when Mirko Vucinic was declared to have recovered from his cold and Sebastian Giovinco dropped to the bench. Goals have been an issue for Juventus but Fabio Quagliarella justified his inclusion when he opened the scoring.

Chelsea ratings

Chelsea ratings

Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1: Luis Suarez rescues point as John Terry is injured

Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1: Suarez rescues point for Reds after goalscorer Terry is crocked on return

Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:55 GMT, 11 November 2012

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UPDATED:

18:06 GMT, 11 November 2012

Luis Suarez's late strike earned Liverpool a point at Stamford Bridge on a day when John Terry stole the headlines on his comeback by both scoring and coming off with a serious injury.

Terry had given Chelsea an early lead before being stretchered off with a leg injury after a freak collision with Suarez.

Equaliser: Suarez stoops to head home from close range

Equaliser: Suarez stoops to head home from close range

MATCH FACTS

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Terry (Cahill 39), Ivanovic, Bertrand, Mikel, Ramires, Hazard, Oscar (Moses 77), Mata, Torres (Sturridge 82).

Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Romeu, Ferreira, Marin.

Booked: Mikel.

Goal: Terry 20.

Liverpool: Jones, Wisdom, Carragher, Agger, Johnson, Allen, Gerrard, Sterling, Sahin (Suso 60), Jose Enrique, Suarez.

Subs Not Used: Gulacsi, Cole, Assaidi, Henderson, Coates, Downing.

Booked: Allen, Johnson, Gerrard.

Goal: Suarez 73.

Attendance: 41,627

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

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More to follow…

Comeback goal: Terry rises to give Chelsea an early lead

Comeback goal: Terry rises to give Chelsea an early lead

Comeback goal: Terry rises to give Chelsea an early lead

Comeback goal: Terry rises to give Chelsea an early lead

Crocked: John Terry went off with a serious-looking injury

Crocked: John Terry went off with a serious-looking injury

Crocked: John Terry went off with a serious-looking injury

Crocked: John Terry went off with a serious-looking injury

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Happy couple: Newly wed watch on from the stands at Stamford Bridge

Happy couple: Newly wed watch on from the stands at Stamford Bridge

Old acquaintances: Jamie Carragher (right) challenges ex-Liverpool striker Fernando Torres

Old acquaintances: Jamie Carragher (right) challenges ex-Liverpool striker Fernando Torres

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Magic moment: Suarez wheels away after scoring

Magic moment: Suarez wheels away after scoring

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John Obi Mikel verdict after Mark Clattenburg claims imminent

FA's Mikel verdict due after claims ref Clattenburg racially abused Chelsea star

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 6 November 2012

The Football Association expect to complete their investigation into Chelsea's claims that Mark Clattenburg racially insulted John Mikel Obi before the weekend.

Chelsea players, including Mikel and Ramires, gave witness statements to Jenni Kennedy, head of governance at the FA, on Monday. Now her attention has turned to referee Clattenburg.

FA chiefs, who are under pressure to make a swift decision, could even make an announcement on potential charges before the weekend.

Verdict due: The FA expect to complete their investigation before the weekend

Verdict due: The FA expect to complete their investigation before the weekend