Jose Bosingwa has escaped a Football Association ban for ramming his studs into Yossi Benayoun's back on Sunday because of a mistake by a match official who saw the incident but did not act upon it at the time.
Now Chelsea will learn today if Frank Lampard's red card for his tackle on Xabi Alonso during the game against Liverpool at Anfield will be rescinded. In a statement yesterday the Football Association said that although Mike Riley did not see the incident between Bosingwa and Benayoun, which took place near the corner flag on Chelsea's right flank, it was spotted by the linesman on that side, Mo Matadar.
Match officials are not permitted to punish offences retrospectively if they saw them take place at the time and did not act upon them. It is not clear why Matadar did not flag for an offence that clearly merited a red card. Bosingwa said yesterday that he regretted the incident. "I apologise for what I did and it was never my intention to hurt him," he said. "I know it was wrong and I apologise."
Luiz Felipe Scolari had suggested a trade-off after the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool when he said that Bosingwa should be punished and Lampard pardoned. There is an FA hearing today that will decide Lampard's fate. Given that West Bromwich Albion's Paul Robinson had a red card rescinded for his tackle on Park Ji-Sung of Manchester United in similar circumstances, the signs look good for Lampard. If Lampard's red card is not rescinded he will miss the next home game in the league against Hull, the FA Cup fifth round game against Watford and the trip to Aston Villa. Given Chelsea's poor form, and that they are five points behind Manchester United who have a game in hand, they can hardly afford to lose the outstanding player of their season so far.
Bosingwa added: "It's always frustrating to lose big games and especially in this way. It was important to get points and not let Manchester United go. That didn't happen, so we are upset, but now we have to think about the next game."
Birmingham City have extended Scott Sinclair's loan deal until the end of the season. The Chelsea winger, 19, has impressed so far since signing an initial month-long deal at the beginning of January.