Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink admitted centre-back John Terry was offside when he scored the Blues' late equaliser in the 3-3 draw against Everton, a goal that had his colleague Roberto Martinez fuming.
As reported by Jacqui Oatley for BBC's Match of the Day, the Dutchman didn't make any attempt to justify the decision to let the goal stand, although he admitted to telling referee Mike Jones to add another minute of injury time:
Hiddink: "7 mins added on but I told the ref they celebrated (90th min equaliser) for 1.5 mins in our corner so I said add 1 min more". #CFC— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) January 16, 2016
Terry's goal came almost one minute after the allotted seven minutes of injury time had passed, but the Toffees wasted plenty of time after Ramiro Funes Mori thought he had scored the winner. Emotions understandably ran high after the match, and Martinez was absolutely furious:
Per Miguel Delaney of the Independent, Hiddink told reporters he felt for Martinez but bad decisions from official are in the nature of the sport:
Hiddink says Martinez is "quite right" but "sometimes it goes against you, sometimes for you, in season".— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 16, 2016
Everton took the lead early in the second half after an own-goal from Terry, and when Kevin Mirallas made it 2-0, the match appeared to be all but over. Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas turned the situation around in two minutes, however, setting up the frantic finale.
Looking back on the match, Hiddink thought it was definitely a point his team gained, given Everton's quality, via ITV Football:
Hiddink: "Everton are a beautiful team. It was a point gained."— ITV Football (@itvfootball) January 16, 2016
Per FourFourTwo's Huw Davies, praise of the Toffees was a theme throughout his post-match press conference:
Hiddink: "Of course it's disappointing being 2-0 down, but I want to emphasis the reaction of the team. [Everton] are very smart." And done.— Huw Davies (@thehuwdavies) January 16, 2016
Costa left the pitch with what looked to be a serious injury with less than 15 minutes left to play, but per the team's official Twitter account, Hiddink thinks it's an issue with his shin, not hamstring, and he hopes it's not severe.
He then turned his attention toward the club's long-term outlook, admitting it will be very difficult to finish in the top four this season, and it will only get harder:
Hiddink: "To make fourth place, you have to take three points at home. So it's difficult, more difficult with decreasing number of games."— Huw Davies (@thehuwdavies) January 16, 2016
Hiddink maintains Chelsea are not negotiating any transfers at this time:
Hiddink: "We are not in negotiations with... whoever, at this moment."— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 16, 2016
Saturday's draw won't help the Blues much in the standings, as the defending Premier League champions still sit closer to the relegation zone than the top four. The team's willingness to fight back is encouraging, however, and a late equaliser always provides momentum that can carry over to the next match.
That said, Hiddink is likely to face some criticism over his tactics in the coming days, and especially regarding his decision to start Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel together. The two couldn't find any rhythm at all in the first half, and it wasn't until the former left the pitch and Oscar was introduced when Chelsea showed any initiative moving forward.