Jones sees red over Gullit `dive'

Chelsea 1 Wimbledon 2

SIMON O'HAGAN

Chelsea 1 Wimbledon 2

They never did belong on the same pitch - and when Vinnie Jones fouled Ruud Gullit yesterday, the Wimbledon man made sure that this most incongruous of duels was brought to a premature end by collecting the 11th dismissal of his career.

This was a typical Wimbledon performance in other, more admirable respects. After falling behind to an early goal by Dan Petrescu, they recovered to lead 2-1 before half-time and then, down to 10 men for the last 35 minutes, showed tremendous spirit in holding on to their advantage. Indeed, they would not have needed so much of it had not Dimitri Kharin made a superb save from Dean Holdsworth's 68th-minute penalty.

Wimbledon's first victory in 15 Premiership matches suggested that in their 10th successive season at the highest level it may be as wide of the mark to write them off now as it has ever been. What one can say with rather more certainty is that the passage of time does little to temper Jones' behaviour.

Here he erred more through stupidity than malevolence. Most players who have already been booked, as Jones was in the 14th minute for a bad tackle on Petrescu, can be expected to hold back a little. Not this one. With 55 minutes gone, Jones went clattering into the back of Gullit as the Dutchman collected a pass up the right wing, and the inevitable followed.

There were the usual protestations of innocence afterwards. While Joe Kinnear, the Wimbledon manager, talked of Jones's reputation going before him, Jones himself went as far as to accuse Gullit of cheating. "I played the ball. When the referee came over I couldn't believe it and the Chelsea players couldn't believe it. I got punished for the dive," he said. "I can't see how anyone can say that was a dirty tackle. When I went in to the slide the ball was loose. When you play the ball and you get sent off, anybody who loves the game is going to be gutted. The only thing he [Gullit] did in the game was get two of us booked.

"I am not jumping on the back of the referee. He is a good referee and saw it as he saw it," Jones added. "The worst thing is that the lads have dug in there, got a brilliant result and it's all going to be about me getting sent off."

Gullit, meanwhile, dismissed inquiries about the incident. "It's not important," he said.

It is true that the ball went straight out for a throw-in, that conditions were slippery, and that any question of indiscipline involving Jones is always a particularly vexed one, but it was still a reckless tackle from behind and, given the relative harmlessness of the position Gullit was in, an unnecessary one as well.

As Glenn Hoddle, the Chelsea manager, said, Jones could not really complain. "When you've been booked you have to change your game," he said. "That's something he's got to learn." Some chance.

Jones, 31 next week, has already been dismissed this season, against Nottingham Forest at the beginning of November. An earlier sending-off, against Liverpool, was overturned on grounds of mistaken identity, and Jones is clinging to the hope that video evidence may clear his name this time. But his case looks considerably weaker.

The Liverpool game, at the beginning of September, was the last time Wimbledon had won in the Premiership. But their form has picked up of late and they always looked a bit sharper than a Chelsea team who keep threatening to amount to something before falling away again.

Petrescu's 11th-minute angled drive, from a cross by Gavin Peacock, put them in control, at which point they seemed to think the job had been done. With three strikers and the midfield pushing up, Wimbledon limited Chelsea's scope for playing their way out from the back while creating plenty of danger themselves. Robbie Earle, who had an outstanding match, headed in Alan Kimble's corner to equalise in the 34th minute and five minutes later he provided Efan Ekoku with the chance to head what turned out to be the winner.

Goals: (Petrescu (11) 1-0; Earle (34) 1-1; Ekoku (39) 1-2.

Chelsea (3-5-2): Kharin; Duberry, Lee, Myers; Petrescu, Newton, Gullit, Peacock (Furlong, 81), Clarke; Spencer, Hughes. Substitutes not used: Spackman, Hitchcock (gk).

Wimbledon (4-3-3): Segers; Cunningham, Reeves, Perry, Kimble; Earle, Jones, Leonhardsen; Ekoku (Pearce, 85), Holdsworth (Gayle, 73), Harford (Goodman, 79).

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury).

Sending-off: Wimbledon: Jones. Bookings: Chelsea: Hughes, Spencer. Wimbledon: Kimble, Harford, Cunningham.

Man of the match: Earle.

Attendance: 21,906.

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
fashion

British supermodel and hitmaker join forces to launch a 'huge song'

News
news

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are set to welcome second child in spring

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually a challenging and nuanced title

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

NQT Job Opportunties in Winsford

£85 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teac...

Year 3 Teachers needed for supply roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Year 1 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Year 2 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past