Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Chelsea players acted like ‘babies’
Chelsea’s players acted like “babies” during the incident that led to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s red card on Wednesday, the Paris St-Germain striker says.
BBC Sport Foot Ball
The Swede was sent off for a tackle on Oscar after 31 minutes but PSG survived the last hour of normal time and extra time to knock Chelsea out of the Champions League last 16 on away goals.
“When I got the red card all the Chelsea players come around,” he said.
“It felt like I had a lot of babies around me.”
“I don’t know if I have to get angry or start to laugh. For me when I saw the red card I was like ‘the guy doesn’t know what he’s doing’,” the PSG forward added.
Ibrahimovic, 33, also suggested Oscar feigned injury in the challenge: “I don’t know if he was acting afterwards. Doesn’t matter. We won the game, we went through and let’s see what happens.”
The game at Stamford Bridge finished 2-2 on Wednesday and 3-3 on aggregate with PSG going through to the quarter-finals on away goals.
Uefa’s disciplinary panel will study the sending off at its 19 March meeting. All red cards in Uefa competitions are reviewed by the governing body to determine whether mandatory one-match bans are extended.
Reaction to the ‘ugly side’ of Chelsea’s defeat
BBC Radio 5 live commentator Alan Green: “Never in a month of Sundays was this an acceptable game of football. I’m not defending any of these cretins out there who are behaving disgracefully.”
BBC Radio 5 live presenter Mark Chapman: “They are all as bad as each other. I don’t think these two sides are the only ones that do it. We see it week in week out.”
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Mark Lawrenson: “Chelsea’s reaction as a team almost seemed choreographed. It was as if someone pushed a button and said, ‘Go and surround the referee’. I think Diego Costa ran 50 yards – what’s it got to do with him?”
‘Not the British way’
Former Liverpool player and manager Graeme Souness labelled Chelsea’s approach “pathetic” and was particularly angered by their reaction to Ibrahimovic’s challenge.
“PSG had to put up with stuff which I find really, really unappealing,” the Sky Sports pundit said.
“To a man, they (Chelsea players) surrounded the referee, (Diego) Costa ran 50 yards to get involved.
“That is something we can do without. That is not the British way of doing things, it’s creeping into our game, which is, I find, totally unacceptable.”
‘Dirty tricks’ Chelsea
Fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher was equally scathing.
“The worst bit of dirty tricks was from Chelsea, surrounding the referee, the reaction was disgraceful,” the former Liverpool defender said.
“Jose Mourinho could end up being the most successful manager ever with the trophies he goes on to win in his career but I don’t think him and his teams will be ever be loved because of actions like that.
“Does Mourinho care? I don’t think he probably cares. I think it’s sad.”
Red card to be overturned?
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and his PSG counterpart Laurent Blanc hope the striker’s red card will be overturned, allowing him to play in the quarter-finals.
Mourinho felt officials had a poor view of Ibrahimovic’s sending-off and PSG defender David Luiz should have been punished for elbowing Chelsea striker Diego Costa off the ball in the first half.
“Maybe they can do what is fair by the disciplinary point of view and suspend David and take the red card from Ibra and let Ibra play the quarter-finals,” he said.
Blanc suggested an appeal would be likely: “I hope Ibra can be with us in the quarter-finals.
“He’ll certainly want to play a good match in the quarter-finals because he has a feeling that he did something that punished the team and could have punished them terminally.
“I think he’s going to play very well in the quarter-finals.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Champions League factfile
Champions League appearances: 114
Champions League goals: 44
Became the 10th player to score four goals in a Champions League game when PSG beat Anderlecht 5-0 in October 2013
Has never won a Champions League title