THE Football Association have confirmed no action will be taken against Jose Bosingwa over his kick at Liverpool substitute Yossi Benayoun during Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.
Referee Mike Riley, who had earlier sent off Frank Lampard in controversial circumstances, admitted that, while he had not seen Bosingwa’s lunge, it had been spotted by assistant Mo Matadar.
The officials did not punish Bosingwa and, under FIFA law, the FA are prohibited from taking disciplinary action when incidents are seen at the time by the match officials.
The FA’s decision is a major boost for Chelsea and Bosingwa, who had swiftly apologised for his actions.
“I apologise for what I did and it was never my intention to hurt him,” said Bosingwa. “I know it was wrong and I apologise.”
Chelsea are hoping to receive another welcome slice of good news today if Lampard, as expected, has his red card overturned at an FA regulatory commission hearing.
Chelsea appealed against Riley’s decision to dismiss the midfielder following a challenge between him and Xabi Alonso in the 60th minute. TV replays showed Lampard won the ball before being kicked by Alonso.
The England midfielder is scheduled to miss the home game against Hull along with away trips to Watford and Aston Villa if the appeal is unsuccessful.
Meanwhile Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez believes star striker Fernando Torres is now the key man in Liverpool’s Barclays Premier League title challenge.
The Spain international, who has suffered three separate hamstring injuries this season and started only 11 matches, showed he was back to his best with the late double that clinched Sunday’s crucial 2-0 victory over Chelsea.
Manager Benitez said: “You can see the quality he has to score very important goals, and that will be really important for us now.
“He is coming back to his best in every single game.”
Torres has now scored seven goals in 13 league appearances, and he wants more as Liverpool try to rein in Manchester United.
Torres said: “The two goals against Chelsea were very important for me because they were my first goals after the injuries and we will all have more confidence after this.”
Benitez meanwhile believes Liverpool’s unbeaten record this term against their title rivals could be critical.
Including Aston Villa in the assessment, Benitez’s side have not lost in five games so far against their rivals in the top five.
That includes a double over Chelsea, plus a win over Manchester United and draws at Villa and Arsenal. Benitez said: “Every single game is important, but especially against teams who are close to us at the top of the table.
“I you want to be contenders, if you want to be closer to the title, that is the key point.”
Meanwhile Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari insists he does not feel under pressure as his team falter in the title race.
The Brazilian coach said: “I do not feel any pressure. It is not a problem in my life, I laugh when I win but sometimes we lose. The title is more distant, we have allowed Liverpool to go ahead of us and Aston Villa are close. We need to play game by game and see what the situation is like at the end. But it is not in our hands.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved