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  • Manager:Jose Mourinho
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Grant questions Mikel card

09 Jan 2008 - 07:22:45

Chelsea coach Avram Grant criticised referee Peter Walton's decision to send off John Obi Mikel in their 2-1 Carling Cup semi-final first leg victory over Everton.

A late own goal by Everton defender Joleon Lescott saw Chelsea take the narrowest of leads to Goodison Park in two weeks' time.

But Grant was unhappy that Mikel - playing his last match before leaving to join up with his Nigeria team-mates for the African Cup of Nations - was dismissed in the 55th minute for a lunging tackle on Phil Neville.

Mikel has now been sent off four times in his Chelsea career, but Grant felt the latest red card was not warranted.

He said: "If this is a red card then two or three players who got yellow cards should also have been sent off.

"But I don't want to say anything else about this decision because the players who played deserve to be talked about.

"I understand why I'm being asked about this but I only want to talk about the way my players performed. I'm proud of them.

"I'm happy that we won. We deserved to win and created a lot of chances in the first half.

"We adapted very quickly to the red card. The players deserve credit for their spirit."

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