Chelsea took another step closer to their first league and cup double with a comfortable victory over Everton, but their performance was once again overshadowed by a war of words surrounding Dutch winger Arjen Robben.
Robben, accused of getting Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina sent off during Chelsea’s 2-0 Barclays Premiership victory over the Reds on Sunday, put the Blues on the road to a fifth-round tie against League One leaders Colchester with the opening goal against Everton.
Robben’s theatrical over-reaction to a push in the face by Reina has since been condemned by Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez and a host of professionals, both past and present.
But this time it was Chelsea who refused to let the matter rest, with both Mourinho and Clarke raising the temperature before and after last night’s fourth-round replay against the Toffees.
In a one-sided affair, first-half goals from Robben, Frank Lampard (penalty) and Hernan Crespo put the tie beyond Everton’s reach and after Mikel Arteta reduced the deficit in the 72nd minute from the penalty spot Chelsea captain John Terry restored their three-goal margin two minutes later.
But the fallout from Benitez’s comments refused to dissipate and Clarke said: “When I was playing I liked to think I could keep control of myself on the pitch. If you lose control on the pitch you are asking for red cards.”