Villas-Boas takes complaint to Riley

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS yesterday revealed he had complained to referees’ chief Mike Riley about the performance of the officials in Chelsea’s Premier League defeat at Manchester United.

Villas-Boas was still smarting yesterday with the manner of what was his first loss in charge of the Blues and his first defeat in a league game for 17 months.

Chelsea fell 2-0 behind at Old Trafford on Sunday to goals which replays showed should not have stood as both scorers had been offside, with United eventually running out 3-1 winners.

Villas-Boas said yesterday: “Very, very unhappy with a poor performance from the referees, which in the end had a decisive role in the result, and I don’t take it very, very lightly. You expect the linesman to do his job.

“I already went further ahead with the situation by speaking to the correct people. We all feel very, very down when the referee had such an impact on the result.”

Chelsea were also let down by their own wastefulness in front of goal, with Fernando Torres producing one of the worst misses in Premier League history.

Villas-Boas refused to comment on his £50m striker’s state of mind, saying: “It’s not a question about an individual player.

“I’m very, very happy with how the team responded. Everybody is strong and with the correct frame of mind.”

However, the Chelsea boss all but confirmed Torres would have to wait for the chance to redeem himself, revealing he planned to flood his team with youngsters for tonight’s Carling Cup third-round tie with Fulham.

“The Carling Cup is an opportunity for us to put our best young talents across and give them experiences in these kinds of situations,” said Villas-Boas, who announced Josh McEachran, Romelu Lukaku, Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand would all start tonight, with Didier Drogba returning to the squad after being sidelined for more than three weeks with a sickening head injury.

“For us, it is not a new approach to the competition, because we did it last year,” he said. “It gives us a very good idea of where we stand regarding the young players that we are trying to bring through.”

That also means another rest for vice-captain Frank Lampard, who was withdrawn at half-time on Sunday with Chelsea trailing 3-0.

That decision was seen by some as the latest evidence the 33-year-old is on the wane.

But Villas-Boas said: “It was an attacking substitution that we thought played right, not because Lamps was playing badly, because he wasn’t.

“He was having quite an impact in the game. It was just something that we had to do in the game to adapt the team to a more attacking style.

“Frank is a fantastic player and he will be one of our key players — as will the others — for the rest of the season.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox