Jose Mourinho has labelled Jan Vertonghen's actions a “disgrace” and called for the Tottenham defender to be banned as Chelsea forward Fernando Torres waits to discover if he will be suspended for four matches.
Torres was sent off for two bookable offences in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Spurs on Saturday, resulting in a one-game ban. However, Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail claims referee Mike Dean did not see the Spaniard appear to scratch Vertonghen.
Sportsmail understands Mike Dean showed Torres his first yellow card for a trip on Spurs defender Vertonghen, not for raising his hands in the confrontation which followed.
None of Dean’s assistants saw the flashpoint and the referee will report these facts to the FA’s disciplinary department today.
From there, it will be immediately passed to a new panel of three ex-referees, who will judge whether the scratching offence deserves a red card for violent conduct.
Torres is guaranteed at least a one-game ban but could have an additional three matches added to his layoff if he is deemed guilty of violent conduct.
If the longer scenario plays out, he would be sidelined for the Premier League clash with Manchester City as well as Chelsea’s Capital One Cup tie against Arsenal.
Mourinho, though, believes Vertonghen should be the man facing disciplinary action for what the Portuguese felt was simulation to get Torres sent off. Barlow provides the quotes:
When you do that to someone from your same profession, I think it’s a disgrace. When nobody touches you and nobody hurts you and you pretend that the opponent made a violent contact, you are putting the referee in a very difficult situation.
The red card is a big mistake. If I was the boss of the committee I would give a one-match suspension to the Tottenham defender.
If there is a positive to take from the game for Torres, whose red card stunted Chelsea’s momentum at a time when they were in the ascendency at White Hart Lane, it is that the Spain international looked back to his best.
Building on his recent display at Swindon, when Torres scored the first goal and produced a brilliant turn to create the second for Ramires, he looked powerful and explosive against Tottenham.
Mourinho also appeared to show that Torres has a strong future at the club, despite Samuel Eto’o’s summer arrival, insisting the striker is finally back to full fitness—per Barlow’s Mail Online article:
He’s very strong, physically. I was watching Fernando’s matches for Chelsea in other seasons and he looked a bit heavy, a little slow. I think Fernando looks in fantastic shape now.
Who deserves to be banned?
The aim now is for Torres to produce over a consistent run of games, having previously had several false dawns at Chelsea.
His goal record still reads a poor 37 strikes in 138 appearances, but to the naked eye he does look a more powerful prospect under Mourinho.
A four-game ban, if meted out by the FA, would be a huge setback.