Chelsea have decided to lodge an appeal with the FA against the red card shown to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the match against Swansea this weekend.
Chelsea were leading 2-1 seven minutes into the second half when Jonjo Shelvey’s through ball sent Bafetimbi Gomis clear of the Chelsea defence. Courtois came running off his line and fouled the striker on the edge of the Blues’ penalty area, with Michael Oliver adjudging it to be inside the box and deciding that the stopper had denied the forward a goal scoring opportunity.
Jose Mourinho refused to discuss the decision to send off his Belgian ‘keeper after the match but his counterpart Gary Monk, the Swans manager, said, “It is a goal scoring opportunity. The letter of the law is that it is a red card and we got what we deserved today”.
Mourinho’s fury at the refereeing performance of Michael Oliver has led to the club’s decision to appeal the red card, with the FA expected to hear their logic today. If their appeal fails, as most assume, then Courtois will be given a one game ban and will miss Chelsea’s trip to last season’s runners up Manchester City on Sunday.
Chelsea only made two significant signings this summer, with Radamel Falcao coming in as cover for Diego Costa and Asmir Begovic arriving as a back up goalkeeper for Thibaut Courtois. The Bosnian, who was bought from Stoke for a fee believed to be in the region of £8 million, didn’t expect to get his chance to shine so soon after his arrival. Mourinho has faith in him, though, saying that their former stopper, Petr Cech, isn’t missed by the club. He said, “We don’t miss Petr. We’ve got a good keeper, the problem with Petr is not that we miss him because we have two excellent ‘keepers. The problem with Petr is that an opponent is better than before. Thibaut and Asmir are two fantastic keepers. My club did very well by getting a goalkeeper on time and not on the August 31st“.
Mourinho signed a new 4 year deal at Stamford Bridge last week and wants to stay with the club precisely because he has such control over their dealings. The new contract will keep the 52 year old at the club until 2019, unless he falls out with Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich before the contract runs its course as he did last time around.
That Mourinho has chosen to throw his newly rewarded managerial weight behind a decision to appeal a red card that looked to be a solid decision is an odd one, especially given it’s so early in the season. It also suggests to Manchester City that he hasn’t got complete faith in Begovic, despite his words. We’ll find out later today what the FA have decided.