Drogba rages as Chelsea crash out in blaze of fury

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Striker leads protests at referee after last-minute strike takes Barça through

Chelsea's hopes of a return to the European Cup final were left in ruins amid controversy and recrimination last night with Didier Drogba facing a lengthy European ban for his furious outburst after the final whistle.

The 93rd-minute goal from Barcelona's Andres Iniesta that knocked Chelsea out sparked a post-match melee as the home side's players surrounded the referee in protest at his failure to award at least one penalty in their favour.

Drogba was particularly incensed at the Norwegian official Tom Henning Ovrebo's performance, yelling: "It's a fucking disgrace," at a TV camera while being restrained by his team-mates. Chelsea believe they should have had four penalties in the match, which ended 1-1 and saw them eliminated on away goals. The striker continued his outburst down the tunnel and allegedly slapped his hand against the wall next to the official.

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink stopped short of saying the match had been fixed by Uefa to ensure there would not be two English teams in the final again, but he said the performance of the referee certainly added fuel to any conspiracy theories.

Hiddink said: "When he waved away two handballs like that, with hands and arms up in the air, that's when you start thinking. It's not just one decision made in doubt, but several decisions not made. You should ask the people at Uefa who gave the referee this game.

"People are making suggestions. If you talk about that, it's difficult to prove those things. I've seen it with very dry, cold eyes on the tape. There are three or four incidents, which I've seen calmly on video, without any big emotions. You have to analyse things closely. Then I also start thinking. Conspiracy is a very tough word and you have to prove it. I don't want to go with that tough word. It was said in the build-up that it would be nice to have a repetition of last year's final.

"But I can only say what I see. I cannot say if Uefa would not like another all-English final. What I'm sure about is that in big games like this you need top notch referees who have lots of experience of refereeing in the big leagues in Italy, Spain, England and Germany. That was the worst refereeing I have ever seen."

Chelsea captain John Terry was also outraged by the performance of Ovrebo, who after the match admitted to Uefa officials he made several big mistakes. Terry said: "It's astonishing. It was a shambles. We had six or seven penalty claims waved away and that's astonishing"

Hiddink defended Drogba's explosive outburst, and insisted he would stand by the striker should Uefa want to charge him. "I can fully understand Didier's reaction: full of emotion, full of adrenalin. People say he should be in control. The time a player goes beyond emotion to start hitting, that's wrong but I can fully understand his emotion. I will protect him."

Michael Essien's spectacular volley from 25 yards in the ninth minute gave Chelsea the belief they were going through against 10-man Barcelona, until Iniesta scored in the third minute of stoppage time to decide this epic contest on away goals.

Eric Abidal was controversially sent off in the 66th minute for a challenge on Nicolas Anelka, although replays showed there was little, if any, contact from the Barcelona defender. The hosts thought they should have been given four penalties, the clearest being in the 82nd minute, when Gerard Pique handled the ball but the referee waved Chelsea's claims away.

Pique admitted the official got it wrong, saying: "The ball touched my hand but I didn't want to touch it. You have to respect the decision."

Hiddink admitted it will be hard to lift his players, who believed they were heading to Rome. He said: "There's disappointment. The overall feeling is one of being robbed and injustice. That's why it was so hot and angry"

Terry, whose missed penalty cost Chelsea their chance to win last year's final against Manchester United, summed up the heartache of the players. "We did exactly what we needed to do," he said. "Not one player made one mistake in the two legs. The referee has made big errors and now we're out. It's a big game with big players and he simply wasn't good enough."

News
i100
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices