Gary Cahill admitted he was to blame for his dismissal against Corinthians in Chelsea's Club World Cup final loss yesterday, but he was clearly furious with Emerson, who he insisted over-reacted.
Cahill kicked out in frustration at the forward in the dying minutes, with Chelsea 1-0 down and staring defeat in the face. "It was a bad reaction from me. I tackled him, we tangled up, he lashed out with his arm and hit me in the face," said Cahill.
"I thought that was out of order but I reacted in a bad way. Looking back there are two different stories. Someone smashed me in the face but I didn't roll around on the floor for five minutes holding my head. I got up, reacted and tapped him in the shin.
"He felt the need to go down, roll around on the floor holding his face. I suppose that's the story of the game really. In the context of the game it was disappointing. It was late on, it wasn't as if it was in the 60th minute. I could have got him sent off if I'd rolled around for five minutes after he hit me. I am angry about it. I'm disappointed in myself for my reaction.
"It probably is a red card but the reaction of the guy is totally out of order for what I did if you see the impact. It wouldn't have been enough to knock over my one-year-old daughter."
The Corinthians coach, Tite, was quick to thank his team's vocal supporters, with 20,000 thought to have travelled from Sao Paulo. And after accepting the trophy, he delivered a barb towards Chelsea and their expensively-assembled team. "First, to all of the supporters, I was able to return the favour," he said. "They encouraged the team and came to Japan to watch us. Many stayed in Brazil. They followed us as well.
"The first half of the match was well balanced. Chelsea were very agile and playing on counter-attack and long balls. Their forwards were very fast and used their speed. We corrected our marking system and moved Emerson closer to [Paolo] Guerrero to stop the long balls.
"We needed to stop Lampard's movement as well. I thought we played well. We got tired in the second half but scored. Then we could have finished the game off but we were very calm and I'm happy we won."
He added: "Corinthians winning this gives us a very important lesson. A team is more important than individual talents. Maybe someone else's girlfriend looks better than yours but you have to stick with the one you have."
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