Wigan receive apology after Chelsea 'robbery'

 

Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, has received an apology from referees' chief Mike Riley following his side's controversial 2-1 defeat away to Chelsea on Saturday. Martinez had claimed his side were "robbed" as Chelsea scored twice from apparently offside positions.

The Spaniard has since spoken to Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, over the matter and says the body accepts mistakes were made. "He just said he understands that at the level of refereeing in this league, they should get that call right," Martinez said. "I think that is very honourable. We are all capable of making mistakes and it is about how you react to them."

Martinez was strong in his criticism of the officials after the game, branding the performance of the assistant Dave Bryan as "disgusting".

 

It had been suggested he could face action from the Football Association over his comments, but reports have since confirmed that that willnot happen.

Bryan, who allowed goals for Branislav Ivanovic and Juan Mata to stand, was stood down from last night's game between Blackburn and Liverpool. Martinez said: "We all know mistakes happen. The problem is when you get two calls in two similar situations, and one of them is so clear. It is really tough to take.

"We are not looking to get people punished but we were stopped from getting the reward we deserved."

Wigan, who remain in the bottom three, feel they have been on the wrong end of too many injustices this season.

Blackburn were awarded a goal against them in a 3-3 draw from a corner that was incorrectly taken in November and striker Conor Sammon was wrongly sent off in December's 5-0 loss to Manchester United, though a Wigan appeal overturned the latter.

Martinez said: "We have had that sense of injustice too many times this season. But you need to look deeper than the results. A result at Stamford Bridge would have been fantastic but we can still look at the performance."

Manchester United are expected to make changes as they look to extend an eight-match winning run at the DW Stadium. Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling are among those hoping to start, while Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand are likely to be rested.

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