The aftermath to the Battle of Barcelona proved no less explosive than the match itself when John Terry yesterday accused the Barcelona players of successfully intimidating the referee, Stefano Farina, into booking six Chelsea players. The Chelsea captain said that the Italian official was swayed by the constant "waving cards" mime of the European champions.
With Chelsea facing an automatic Uefa fine for collecting more than five bookings, the governing body has also promised to study the replays of Tuesday night's pulsating 2-2 draw to find out whether there are any more cases to answer in the many skirmishes that took place off the ball. After Jose Mourinho's rant against the biased refereeing on Tuesday night, and Frank Rijkaard's face-to-face admonishment for Farina, they may also look at the conduct of the two managers. Terry, however, is rarely so outspoken on the subject of referees and he was quite clear that he felt Barcelona were given greater leeway than their visitors.
The Chelsea captain said: "They have world-class players and it's disappointing to see them play like that. We fully respect them, but waving cards in the referee's face to get people booked is disappointing. He showed a yellow card so early on in the game. They were making similar tackles to us and sometimes he didn't even give a foul, let alone a yellow card. We showed maturity. We argued when we had to and showed calmness when it was appropriate.
"Early on when it got heated the referee came to me and [Carles] Puyol and told us to calm it down a bit. We did that but next thing we know all the players are around him again and he doesn't want to speak to me or Puyol. He can have it all his own way. If he wants to speak to us or calm people down around us then he has to speak to us.
"It does get heated, but that's what it's about. Sometimes you have to mix and match it with them. After we beat them at our place, they needed to beat us. They got the early goal, but we didn't go there to get bullied by the referee, their players or get intimidated by their fans. We outplayed them at times and we showed great character."
Mourinho made the point again on Tuesday night that Chelsea's unseeded status - which means they have been drawn in the same group as Barcelona - is always likely to cost them more bookings because they come up against better sides. Frank Lampard will be suspended for the next match against Werder Bremen with the Germans now two points ahead of Barcelona, who could face action over fans throwing bottles on to the pitch.
Lampard admitted to being "a bit frustrated" with the referee. He said: "The two teams respect each other. I am sure they respect us. Maybe we play with a bit more stronger physical style, but you need a referee in those games who knows when contact is a foul and when it isn't. That's where the frustration comes in."
Eidur Gudjohnsen, whose 58th-minute goal seemed to have settled the tie, learned yesterday that his ankle injury, after a tackle by Ricardo Carvalho, is not likely to be serious. Lampard said that there was an appreciable difference between the Chelsea side that bowed out the Champions' League with a draw at the Nou Camp in March and the one that fought back on Tuesday to get an equaliser through Didier Drogba.
"When you come to these places... you have to have a character and mentality that says, 'Give me the ball - I can play'. Last year maybe we didn't have that. Maybe we were in awe a bit but this year we stood up."
A Uefa spokesman William Gaillard said that the constant pressuring of the referee had become a "bad habit" in the Champions' League but that it would be unlikely that action would be taken before the start of next week.
Spain's pain: How the players, manager and press reacted
This time the luck was with Chelsea. I don't care what Mourinho says - there are times when you should leave without saying anything. Does Jose Mourinho believe it is impossible for Chelsea to lose without it being down to a mistake from an official or an act of cheating?
I don't know if they were looking for cards but we certainly weren't. I don't care what Mourinho says.
I was surprised by his reaction [to the equalising] goal. Obviously he was happy.
Mourinho is a ruffian in the press room and a gentleman trainer in the field.
Rage, war... and an impossible goal from Lampard.