Chelsea 2 Aston Villa 1: Controversy follows victory for Jose Mourinho's side - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Chelsea 2 Aston Villa 1: Controversy follows victory for Jose Mourinho's side

The Blues move top of the table after narrow win

Jose Mourinho and Paul Lambert were in disagreement following Chelsea's 2-1 defeat of Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge which took the Blues to the top of the embryonic Barclays Premier League table.

Lambert felt his Villa side were on the wrong side of two decisions by referee Kevin Friend, believing Branislav Ivanovic should have been sent off for a clash with Christian Benteke and that his side should have had a penalty for handball against John Terry in stoppage time.

The fact Ivanovic scored the winner heightened the sense of grievance for Lambert, whose complaints were dismissed by Mourinho.

On the Terry handball incident, the Chelsea boss said: "If somebody pushes an opponent, especially in the box, in dangerous areas, it's a free-kick against (Villa)."

The Portuguese also played down the incident between Ivanovic and Benteke.

Mourinho said: "This is the Premier League. This is English football.

"For some reason the world loves it more than any other league: one thing is a real aggression, another thing is duels.

"I think the referee did very, very well. From minute one to minute 95 there was a real fight, a football fight between Benteke and Ivanovic.

"Fouls for one side, fouls for another side. I think that's football."

Lambert felt his side deserved at least a point from the game.

The Scot said: "It's easy to sit here with sour grapes and all that sort of thing, (but) I thought my team were outstanding.

"I think we've been done by two big decisions that were wrong.

"I don't think you can miss those ones, not big decisions like that. They're big game changers."

Mourinho, whose side were comfortable victors over Hull on Sunday and next play Manchester United, admitted Chelsea were fortunate to escape with all three points in a combative contest which spilled into the technical area.

"It was a game till the minute 95 with the result very unpredictable," Mourinho added.

"If in this moment we are here with a draw, it wouldn't be an unfair result.

"They fought a lot for a result. I don't think they play a lot.

"Paul has a certain type of personality and behaviour on the bench.

"He reminds me of myself 10 years ago, where I was complaining every decision, where I want to coach my team and at the same time I want to have a whistle in my lips.

"He's the same. With time he will change, because he complains with every decision."

Lambert accepted Mourinho's appraisal of him with good grace.

"It's a nice compliment," Lambert said.

"Jose doesn't stand there as a shrinking violet. If in six years' time I'm like him, then I'll be quite happy."

Less complimentary was the criticism of his team, which Lambert took exception to.

Lambert added: "I'm proud of the team, the way we played. We don't play long ball."

PA

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