Jose Mourinho Invites Tottenham Feud with Defence of Fernando Torres
Jose Mourinho has fanned the flames of a delicate situation with Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas, after seeing Fernando Torres escape additional FA punishment for raising his hands to Jan Vertonghen's face.
The Portuguese manager leapt to Torres' defence after watching his side demolish Steaua Bucharest 4-0 in Tuesday's Champions League tie.
Should Jan Vertonghen be labelled a cheat?
Chelsea’s Spanish striker—who received a red card during the recent 1-1 draw with Spurs—was spared further punishment despite appearing to scratch Vertonghen’s face in the clash at White Hart Lane.
As Sky Sports reported, Mourinho believes The FA’s disciplinary panel made the correct decision, although he appeared to take a veiled swipe at Vertonghen’s credibility when complimenting the call:
It was quite a real pressure to make him [Torres] have a two or three-match ban, but at the same time I was more than confident.
The FA defends the interest and the culture of English football. It's not to protect cheats and people that simulate.
To protect English football is to protect people who play the game with emotion, intensity. It didn't surprise me, what happened.
Mourinho's comments come in response to Villas-Boas' decision to back his defender, who fell to ground under Torres' challenge—resulting in the Spaniard's second caution.
"I'm extremely happy that most of the media saw the incident, knows about Jan's values and have decided to draw positive conclusions about him and about his character," Villas-Boas said, per Sky Sports.
Mourinho's remarks, although not directly aimed at Vertonghen, have the potential to ignite a feud that has grabbed headlines across the past week. Once under Mourinho’s tutelage at Porto, Villas-Boas claimed the pair’s relationship had "broken down" in the build-up to their Premier League clash, per BBC Sport.
Mourinho responded angrily to AVB’s public claims and labelled the 35-year-old’s comments childish, per Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail:
I'm not a kid - if I have something to discuss then we go upstairs, we have lunch and we speak about it.
When people know me they can be very straight and very objective, but people shouldn't be wary of me because of my ugly face.
The Chelsea boss expects Torres to miss the upcoming international break and will learn the full extent of his striker's condition after a knee scan, per BBC Sport. Without him, the Blues will be forced to utilise Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba during their upcoming trip to Norwich.
With Spurs outlined as genuine candidates for a place in the Premier League's top three, the bickering between Mourinho and his former understudy may have only just begun.
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