Branislav Ivanovic: 'Don't make me laugh' - Jose Mourinho reacts to claims Chelsea defender should have been sent off

The defender clashed with James McCarthy, with allegations form some quarters that the midfielder may have bitten by the Serb

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho tried to head off yet another potential Football Association disciplinary case against one of his players tonight, after the Serb full-back Branislav Ivanovic was accused of a red card offence against James McCarthy.

The Chelsea player thrust a forearm around the throat of the Everton midfielder and then pushed his forehead in the midfielder’s direction. Mourinho refused to take questions on the subject, walking out of a BBC interview when Ivanovic’s behaviour was raised and threatening to do the same in his post-match press conference. “Don’t make me laugh”, he told broadcasters BT Sport, when the issue was raised.

The Everton manager Roberto Martinez said that it was a red card offence. “If you look at the images, Ivanovic’s behaviour is wrong,” Martinez said. “It shouldn’t be allowed. He grabbed James McCarthy around the neck in a forceful manner and puts his head against him. James McCarthy never reacted. If you want to be on top of the law, that’s a red card.”

There were allegations form some quarters, unproven by the available footage, that Ivanovic may have bitten McCarthy. Gareth Barry was sent off for a second yellow card in the 86th minute, the foul that precipitated the general melee.

The FA will ask referee Jonathan Moss whether he saw the incident or not. If the referee says that he did not see it then a committee at the FA will decide whether a violent conduct charge is raised. A three-match ban for Ivanovic would mean he misses the Capital One Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur on 1 March. Diego Costa has only just served his three-match ban for stamping on Martin Skrtel.

Asked about the row, Mourinho said: “You know, I’m tired of stories, and I’m never tired of football. And football is emotion and what we had here today. A discussion because of a red card that should be given in the first half, because Barry should be sent off in the first half, because he had a yellow card and pulled [Eden] Hazard, so the second yellow card should be given there. So nothing important.”


Asked whether he was concerned about Ivanovic facing retrospective action, Mourinho said: “I’m concerned with my reaction because one more question I leave and then you are not happy, because I am more concerned with my reaction. The next question for that story I leave.

“I think it’s a penalty [against Steven Naismith in the first half] but the referee had a very difficult performance. It must have been a nightmare for the referee because he has to be focused in one box and then the other. The official that disallowed the [Nemanja Matic] goal, it was a fantastic decision.”