Tag: Nemanja Matic

Premiership: Chelsea 1-1 Burnley

Chelsea’s troubled week ended in further controversy when Nemanja Matic was sent off as Burnley plundered a late 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw at Stamford Bridge.

Matic was shown a straight red card by referee Martin Atkinson for pushing over Ashley Barnes after taking exception to a nasty one-footed lunge from the forward.

John Terry and Kurt Zouma restrained Matic as he seethed at the tackle, before the Serbian eventually left the pitch knowing he now faces a three-match ban for violent conduct.

Branislav Ivanovic was booked during the same flashpoint for attempting to prevent Atkinson withdrawing the red card from his pocket.

Chelsea had been coasting until Matic’s dismissal with Ivanovic firing them into a 14th minute lead, but the melee sparked a revival from Burnley who saw Barnes go close before Ben Mee headed in the equaliser.

The eventful final 21 minutes at Stamford Bridge concluded a miserable week for the Blues, who have been desperate to repair the damage caused when footage emerged of a small group of their fans racially abusing a black man on the Paris Metro on Tuesday night.

Once again they expressed their anger after a commuter was prevented from boarding a train amid chants of ”we’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it”.

John Terry used his captain’s notes in the matchday programme for Chelsea’s annual ‘Game for Equality’ to describe the incident as “unacceptable”, while chairman Bruce Buck admitted the event had placed the club at a “crossroads” in their fight to stamp out discrimination.

Another potential storm looms on the horizon, however, after police confirmed on Saturday morning they are seeking a gang of men – believed to be Chelsea fans – who were heard shouting racist chants at London St Pancras on Wednesday night.

It was against this backdrop that the Premier League leaders met relegation-threatened Burnley and the relief from controversy they sought appeared imminent as they poured forward in search of a second, but it was the visitors who finished the stronger team.

The match had barely started when Juan Cuadrado looped a header that keeper Tom Heaton parried to safety with his fingertips, but by the 14th minute Chelsea were ahead.

Burnley’s defence was caught dithering and Eden Hazard capitalised, weaving a seemingly impossible path to the byline before pulling back to Ivanovic who drilled the ball home from close range.

The sublime interchange that followed moments later between Hazard, Diego Costa and Oscar was worthy of a second, but they were guilty of over-elaboration when the trigger needed to be pulled.

Ivanovic had a penalty appeal for handball rejected by referee Atkinson and apart from a smart save by Thibaut Courtois, it largely remained one way traffic.

Atkinson had a bigger call to make on the stroke of half-time when Jason Shackell appeared to push Costa over, but the official waved play on and was met with jeers from home fans.

Stood in the technical area, an incredulous Mourinho shook his head with his face breaking out into a wry smile.

Barnes tried his luck from long range with a dipping shot and would have been successful but for the reflexes of Courtois.

Chelsea were quickly back on to the offensive, Oscar playing a beautiful ball through to Costa who ghosted into a strong position only for his shot to lack power, enabling Heaton to deny the Spaniard.

The Blues were pushing hard for a second as Costa almost connected with a fine cross by Ivanovic before scrambling defence stopped another attack at the crucial moment.

Matic was dismissed and Barnes almost beat Courtois, before Burnley plundered the equaliser when Ben Mee leaped high between two defenders to nod home at the far post.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: NK Maribor 1-1 Chelsea

Eden Hazard missed a late penalty as Group G leaders Chelsea were held to a draw by unfancied Maribor in the Champions League.

The Slovenian champions, thrashed 6-0 at Stamford Bridge, took the lead through Agim Ibraimi’s sublime curler.

But the Blues equalised when Nemanja Matic poked in John Terry’s header at the far post.

Hazard was fouled by Mitja Viler to win a penalty, but the Belgian’s weak effort was saved by Jasmin Handanovic.

Hazard’s rare miss – he has scored 27 out of 30 penalties in his career – summed up a frustrating evening for the Blues, who had been denied an earlier spot-kick for what appeared a foul on Oscar and had a Diego Costa goal wrongly disallowed for offside.

Both had been brought on at half-time as manager Jose Mourinho tried to inject some energy into an under-par display.

The result, combined with Sporting Lisbon’s 4-2 victory over Schalke, leaves Chelsea three points clear of the Germans and needing to win one of their remaining two games to guarantee their passage to the knock-out phase.

The Blues also equalled a club record by extending their unbeaten start to the season to 16 matches.

Mourinho, whose side face Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday, made four changes to the team that beat QPR 2-1 on Saturday.

Centre-back Kurt Zouma, brought in for Gary Cahill, should have opened the scoring inside 10 minutes but he headed Cesc Fabregas’s dinked cross wide of the near post.

Maribor served early notice of their threat on the break when Tavares weaved through three Chelsea defenders and bore down on Petr Cech, only to over-hit his attempted pass to strike partner Luka Zahovic.

Chelsea responded strongly, as Andre Schurrle fired a shot narrowly wide before Hazard’s fierce drive was pushed aside by Handanovic.

Despite Mourinho’s tactical re-jig, Chelsea fell behind within five minutes of the restart. Zouma’s headed clearance landed at the feet of Ibraimi, whose sumptuous curling shot found the top corner of Cech’s goal.

After Costa blazed high and wide, Chelsea were given a huge let-off at the other end when Zahovic side-footed over the bar from three yards after a perfect cross from left-back Viler.

With 20 minutes remaining, the visitors were denied a penalty when Oscar appeared to be tripped by his fellow Brazilian Arghus.

Chelsea’s sense of grievance was short-lived. From a Fabregas corner, Terry’s downward header presented Matic with the simplest of tap-ins to equalise.

As the Blues pushed hard for a winner, Handanovic made superb saves to deny Hazard and Costa, who then had a goal ruled out for offside.

But Maribor stayed in the game and almost snatched it when Tavares slashed Jean-Philippe Mendy’s square pass wide of goal.

In the 85th minute, the outstanding Hazard was tripped by Viler in the box, but Handanovic dived to his left to keep it out and secure a famous point.

Read more on BBC Sport

Champions League: Sporting Lisbon 0-1 Chelsea

Chelsea win on Mourinho’s Sporting return

Nemanja Matic grabbed the winner as Jose Mourinho made a triumphant return to Sporting Lisbon courtesy of a narrow 1-0 victory that sees Chelsea take control of Champions League Group G.

The Blues boss first cut his coaching teeth with the Lions just over 20 years ago and enjoyed a successful homecoming, but it could have been so much more comfortable if his side had found the goal touch that has seen them light up the Premier League this season.

Indeed, Matic’s goal was all they had to show for some stylish approach play with the Serbia international rising at the far post to nod Cesc Fabregas’ left-wing free kick over Rui Patricio before revelling in the boos of the home support who recognised his one-time allegiance to local rivals Benfica.

In the end it turned into a hard-fought victory for the visitors who squandered a raft of openings with Diego Costa,Oscar and Andre Schurrle in particular fluffing their lines when presented with gilt-edged chances, although Patricio deserves great credit for a sensational display in the home goal.

Sporting improved in the second period with on-loan Manchester United winger, Nani going close to rescuing a point with a shot into the side-netting, but it wasn’t to be as Chelsea’s narrow win coupled with Schalke’s draw with Maribor saw the Blues move clear at the top of the standings.

Read more on Yahoo Sport