Juan Mata silent over Mark Clattenburg allegations


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The Independent Football

Juan Mata stayed silent over allegations Mark Clattenburg used “inappropriate language” towards him after his blog on Chelsea's acrimonious defeat to Manchester United went online today.

Mata made no mention of claims he and team-mate John Obi Mikel were the victims of comments made toward them by Clattenburg, which are understood to have been interpreted as racist.

Clattenburg himself last night promised to co-operate with any investigation into the events that took place in yesterday's Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, which United won 3-2.

The official also stood by his controversial decision to show Fernando Torres a second yellow card for diving, according to former referee Dermot Gallagher, who claimed to have spoken to the 37-year-old last night.

Replays clearly showed Torres had been fouled by Jonny Evans and the sending-off reduced Chelsea to nine men, allowing United to score a winner which itself should have been disallowed for offside.

Mata wrote on http://blogs.grada360.com/juanmata: "This time I'm writing to you from home, just arrived from Stamford Bridge, and obviously disappointed after our defeat.

"It was a very important match for us, first vs second, and we were eager to win in order to open a gap at the top of the table. Yet we couldn't make it.

"The match started bad for us, conceding two goals in the early minutes (the first one very unlucky), but there was plenty of time to fight back. And we did it.

"Little by little, with the support of the crowd, we put more and more pressure on United and we managed to tie the game thanks to a very intense start in the second half.

"But soon afterwards, when the team's belief was higher, we had to play with nine men after Torres being unfairly sent off.

"Yet I prefer to be positive, we were very competitive against a great rival and we fought back with 0-2. Also we keep at the top of the table. It's still too early, but it's important to be up there.

"But football keeps going, there is no time to look back and this coming Wednesday we are again facing United, again at Stamford Bridge.

"The Capital One [Cup] this time. I hope we can win and forget today's defeat..."

The coming games are shaping up to be a monumental test of Chelsea's mental strength at a time of year when they traditionally struggle.

It is almost impossible not to draw parallels with this time 12 months ago when John Terry had just been caught racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during the club's defeat at QPR.

Like yesterday, the Blues had been reduced to nine men and, like yesterday, the fallout from the match included a serious allegation of racism.

The Chelsea manager at the time, Andre Villas-Boas, admitted recently that had been the catalyst for the chain of events that led to his own downfall.

Current boss Roberto Di Matteo arguably has even more problems to contend with as he bids to avoid what would be a a third straight defeat on Wednesday night.

The Italian, who had not lost two games in a row since taking charge before yesterday, is without the suspended Terry, Torres and Branislav Ivanovic and the injured Frank Lampard.

He said: "I have to see how the players are and then we have to think about what kind of team I can put out on Wednesday.

"We have the suspensions and also I need to see what kind of injuries we have.

"This is a team that has a lot of qualities.

"Even though we might find moments like this - we will find ourselves in situations like this - we know that we can come out of it once we get everybody back.

"We know we can play good football and create chances and take them, and that's what we have to do."