Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, his assistant Rui Faria and midfielder Ramires were all last night charged by the Football Association for their actions in last Saturday’s controversial Premier League loss to Sunderland.
The relegation-threatened Black Cats won 2-1, ending Mourinho’s 77-match unbeaten home league run with the Blues. The Portuguese manager could not hide his anger afterwards, giving a sarcastic appraisal of the referee, while Faria was dismissed for angrily confronting the match officials. Ramires avoided punishment at the time of his flailing arm striking Sebastian Larsson but now faces a retrospective punishment which could end his domestic season.
A FA statement read: “The FA has charged three members of Chelsea’s staff following their fixture against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on April 19, 2014. Chelsea midfielder Ramires has been charged by The FA for violent conduct following an off-the-ball incident that was not seen by the match officials but caught on video. Rui Faria, Chelsea’s assistant manager, has been charged with two counts of misconduct. It is alleged that in the 83rd minute of the fixture, Faria used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official (Phil Dowd). It also alleged that Faria’s behaviour following the match referee’s (Mike Dean) request that he leave the technical area amounted to improper conduct. Jose Mourinho has been charged with misconduct in respect of post-match comments. It is alleged that Mourinho’s comments constitute improper conduct, in that they call into question the integrity of the referee and/or the integrity of Mr Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.”
Meanwhile, Gary Cahill believes Chelsea can take belief from previously triumphing in adversity as they bid to reach the Champions League final. After a 0-0 draw at Atletico Madrid in Tuesday night’s semi-final first leg, captain John Terry is out of Wednesday’s second leg with an ankle injury, while goalkeeper Petr Cech (dislocated shoulder) is out for the season and Frank Lampard and fellow midfielder John Obi Mikel are suspended.
But the Blues were without suspended Terry and his fellow defender Branislav Ivanovic in winning the 2012 European Cup for the first time in Munich.
Mourinho’s options are limited for the return against Atletico at Stamford Bridge and he is considering fielding a weakened team at Anfield on Sunday in a move which could hand the Premier League title to Liverpool and anger third-placed Manchester City, who could overhaul Liverpool if Chelsea win and they win their game in hand.
With the Blues five points adrift of Liverpool with three games to play, Mourinho wishes to prioritise the Champions League and Cahill is determined to advance to a third European final in three years.
“It is a huge blow to lose so many players,” said Cahill, who played in the Champions League and Europa League-winning teams in successive seasons.
“We look back at how we coped with a similar situation on the way to winning it in 2012 and it gives us confidence. It’s never ideal to lose players but we have the squad to cope.
“We seem to be able to grind out results when we need to in this competition. We’re really, really close to the final now, we have one more game at home and have to give it every single thing we’ve got.
“Then we have a good few weeks to get some of the players back but we can’t think too far ahead. We have one huge game to go, we have to focus and give everything next week.”
Atletico, meanwhile, will be hoping for more from leading marksman Diego Costa in the return. His goals have fuelled Atletico’s twin trophy bids but against Chelsea, who are reportedly interested in signing him, the 25-year-old didn’t fire.
Having chosen to represent Spain,the Brazilian-born striker is set for a place in their World Cup squad. He has scored 27 goals as Atletico lead the La Liga title race, with a further seven in the Champions League but Chelsea blocked off his supply.
“We tried different approaches but our rivals defended well,” coach Diego Simeone said. “The idea was to break up their defensive organisation but we lacked a cutting edge.”