Mourinho faces ban after final dismissal

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho will face a misconduct charge and a possible touchline ban after he was dismissed from the dug-out for taunting Liverpool fans during his controversial celebration of Steven Gerrard's own goal equaliser in the Carling Cup final on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho will face a misconduct charge and a possible touchline ban after he was dismissed from the dug-out for taunting Liverpool fans during his controversial celebration of Steven Gerrard's own goal equaliser in the Carling Cup final on Sunday.

The full story of Mourinho's banishment to the tunnel has now emerged and it has been revealed that the Chelsea manager was sent away from the touchline on the orders of the fourth official, Phil Crossley, who acted on the approval of the referee, Steve Bennett.

After the goal in the 79th minute, Mourinho pressed his finger to his lips in a gesture that suggested he was telling the Liverpool fans behind his dug-out to be silent. Crossley informed Bennett of what Mourinho had done and he was dismissed with the permission of the match referee.

Because Mourinho was not shown a red card, the Chelsea manager later said that he believed he had been sent off to the tunnel - where he watched the rest of the game on television in a back room - on the advice of the police. However, Bennett judged that the situation on the pitch, where tempers were raised, needed his full attention and left the matter to his fourth official.

Most damaging for Mourinho is that Bennett is understood to have referred to the Chelsea coach's "unacceptable behaviour" in his match report to the Football Association. Although the FA's compliance unit, which deals with disciplinary matters were still collecting evidence yesterday, it seems likely they will now charge Mourinho.

Sir Alex Ferguson was given a touchline ban for swearing at a referee during a match at St James' Park in August 2003. That kind of punishment will not be a new experience for the Chelsea coach who had to watch his Porto team in the Uefa Cup semi-final from the stands in 2003 after he was sent off in the semi-final against Lazio.

Damien Duff said the doubt Sir Alex Ferguson had cast over Chelsea's Premiership title aspirations had not affected his team-mates and suggested that Manchester United were envious of the first trophy under Roman Abramovich. Duff said: "Everyone has really built us up over the season and now they are looking to knock us down after losing two games. We are not really out to prove points to the media or the public, we just want some silverware by the end of the season.

"There was only one place I wanted to be this weekend and it wasn't playing a League game. I wanted to be at the Millennium Stadium. I am sure if you asked Manchester United they would have liked to be here picking up a trophy. Yes, they picked back three points on us yesterday but we will bounce back on Saturday.

"We are still winning. We may not have played the prettiest of football over the past few weeks but we are grinding results out. That speaks volumes.

"Money doesn't buy success but this is the first one out of the way - hopefully there will be many more to come. It has been a disappointing week with the two losses. It would have been unacceptable to lose three on the bounce. We had to win. [With] the standards we have set, even losing two games on the trot is disappointing."

Speaking for the first time since his red card against Barcelona in the Nou Camp last week, Didier Drogba said that he owed Mourinho a good performance. The Chelsea striker, whose challenge on Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was defended by Mourinho last week, said that he had made a mistake in lunging into the challenge.

Drogba said: "It meant a lot to me because a lot of people have spoken about my mistake in Barcelona. It happened, but it is not the end of the world and the team can win without me.

"Today I had to score because I had something to do to make up for what I did. Everybody was together, the fans, players and manager and we had a lot of confidence. I let the team down in Barcelona. But this is football and if I knew before the game I was going to get a red card I would not have done it.

"There have not been many games we have been losing 1-0 this season, so we are delighted with what we achieved and now we have to go to the end in the Premiership.''

The club's director of communications, Simon Greenberg, said Mourinho had apologised if there was any misunderstanding among Liverpool fans over his gesture. "The manager apologised, which is something people have not made a lot of. He was measured and said that, if he had made a mistake, he apologised for that. He is a guy who knows his own mind and also a guy who does listen. He knows why he did it and we don't have a view on whether that was wrong or not."

* Chelsea's report to Uefa, the governing body of European football, over the alleged behaviour of the Barcelona coach, Frank Rijkaard, in last week's Champions' League tie will be scrutinised by Uefa on 24 March.

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