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Premier League

Fernando Torres escapes further action for 'scratch' on Jan Vertonghen during Chelsea draw with Tottenham

The Spain striker was sent off in the match at White Hart Lane

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has escaped disciplinary action despite appearing to scratch the face of Jan Vertonghen during Chelsea's Premier League match against Tottenham on Saturday.

The incident occurred after a coming together between Torres and the Spurs defender which led to the Spain international being shown the first of two bookings that led to him being dismissed.

It was unclear at the time whether referee Mike Dean showed Torres the first of his two yellow cards for a trip on Vertonghen or the scratching incident that followed.

If Dean and his assistant Jake Collin did not have a clear view of the apparent scratching, retrospective action could have been taken.

However, the FA say the incident was spotted.

The FA said in a statement: "The FA will take no action against Chelsea's Fernando Torres in relation to an incident involving Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen which occurred in the 50th minute of their match on Saturday 28 September 2013.

"One of the match officials saw the coming together of the two players, albeit not in its entirety."

The FA has put a new system in place where a panel of three former referees will look at incidents retrospectively and decide if charges should be brought.

That replaces the old system where action was only taken if the referee viewed the footage and judged whether he should have sent a player off.

However, in both cases if any match official saw part of the incident, even if not the full detail, then the FA cannot take further action.

The FA statement added: "In these particular circumstances, in line with the FA's policy on when retrospective action may be taken, reviewed this summer by the game's stakeholders (the Premier League, the Football League, the Professional Footballers' Association, the League Managers' Association, Professional Game Match Officials Limited and the National Game), no action may be taken."

Torres received his second yellow card, unluckily, when Vertonghen made the most of an aerial challenge nine minutes from the end of the 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. It means he will miss Sunday's game against Norwich.

Fernando Torres is sent off by referee Mike Dean


Having surprisingly preferred to start with Eto’o in the recent defeats against Everton and Basle, Jose Mourinho has been impressed with the way Torres responded, meaning the fact the striker has escaped what might have been a four match ban will come as a releif for the Chelsea boss: “From television I was watching Fernando’s matches for Chelsea in other seasons and he looked to me a bit heavy, a little slow. I think Fernando now looks in fantastic shape. And I think he played a very good game. He knows I’m very happy with his performances.”

Torres’ enforced absence next weekend means he is more likely to start in the Champions League away to Steaua Bucharest tonight.