Football: Desailly plans to join Lazio next summer
Tuesday 21 December 1999
Desailly has always had a career plan and his next step - after two seasons in England - is a pounds 6m move back to Italy.
The powerful Desailly, who suffered a dislocated shoulder during Sunday's calamitous home defeat against Leeds United, has performed well for Chelsea in Europe this season, but neither the physical demands nor the style of the Premier League have been to his liking since he arrived for pounds 4.6m from Milan.
Chelsea could be glad of the money, but Vialli must be wondering what is happening to his dream squad. Leboeuf has apologised to his team-mates for the moment of madness that looks to have ended Chelsea's Premiership challenge. But that apology will probably cut little ice with Vialli as he contemplates a central defensive crisis at Christmas that threatens even his now limited league ambitions.
The Football Association is equally unlikely to be impressed his words of regret once the match report from the referee, Jeff Winter, has arrived with the details of Leboeuf's second-half dismissal.
The Frenchman was dismissed for a second bookable offence on Harry Kewell in the space of seven minutes before stamping on the Australian. He then argued with Leeds players and officials on the bench before belatedly accepting his inevitable punishment.
Already facing a two-match ban for his second red card of the season - he will miss the FA Cup fourth round and the Premiership visit to Coventry City - Leboeuf can now expect further punishment after Winter confirmed he had noticed the stamp on Kewell, although Leboeuf had already been dismissed for the second yellow card.
The dismissal was the last thing Vialli needed after losing his other two main central defenders to injury during the 2-0 defeat that left the Blues 17 points behind Leeds, the Premiership leaders.
Desailly's replacement, Jes Hogh, pulled up with a torn hamstring midway through the second half, forcing Chris Sutton to be pressed into service as an emergency centre-half. Vialli now has only Bernard Lambourde as experienced defensive cover for a vital run of Premiership games over Christmas and into the new year against Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry. Those games could have a bearing on whether Chelsea can finish in the top three and make sure of a Champions' League place next season.
"Frank knows he should not have done that and he has apologised to everyone," Chelsea's full-back Jon Harley said. "Luca thought we played well, he was reasonably happy with the performance but it's the result that counts and we are all gutted. For the first 60 minutes everyone was really enjoying it and then we just went. Down to 10 men and 2-0 down, you don't know what to do."
The FA will wait for a report from another referee, Graham Barber, before considering taking any disciplinary action against Emmanuel Petit, the Arsenal midfielder. The French international is alleged to have spat towards the Wimbledon striker John Hartson during Saturday's game at Highbury .
An FA spokesman, Adrian Bevington, said: "Clearly, if any evidence of this is brought to our attention, we will look very closely at it because anything of this nature is a serious offence. However, at this stage, we have had no reports to suggest anything has taken place."
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Louis van Gaal gives increasingly intense interview as irritation with BBC grows following Manchester United defeat to Chelsea
David Moyes: I had to fight to STOP Wayne Rooney leaving Manchester United to join Chelsea in 2013
Philippe Coutinho 'goal': FA Cup semi-final strike was going 'miles wide' - leading to fury over first goal scorer betting
Mario Balotelli incident leaves Brendan Rodgers fuming after Liverpool's FA Cup exit to Aston Villa
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...