English Premiership

Chelsea equaliser 'heartbreaking'

2016-01-16 21:36
Roberto Martinez (AFP)

London - Everton manager Roberto Martinez blamed a "heartbreaking" refereeing decision after his side were denied victory over Chelsea by a contentious 98th-minute equaliser in Saturday's 3-3 draw between the teams.

Everton led 2-0 and 3-2 at Stamford Bridge and looked to have the three points in the bag after Ramiro Funes Mori put them ahead in the 91st minute.

But after the 97 minutes of allotted stoppage time had elapsed, Chelsea captain John Terry flicked in a back-heeled equaliser from what appeared to be an offside position to leave Martinez fuming.

"It's a clear-cut offside that should have been spotted," said Martinez, who was presiding over his 250th Premier League game as a manager. "To make it worse, it's 50 seconds over time. It's something that's not good enough.

"It's heartbreaking because I thought it was a terrific game of football. There is no explanation. It's a big, big error."

Everton went 2-0 up courtesy of a 50th-minute own goal by Terry, who inadvertently diverted a cross from Leighton Baines into his own net, and a neat shot on the turn by Kevin Mirallas six minutes later.

Two goals in two minutes by Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, who later went off injured, made it 2-2, before the late drama in injury time.

Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink admitted that his side were fortunate that Terry's goal was allowed to stand by referee Mike Jones.

"I will not deny it -- it was offside because Oscar touched the ball, even though John was technically perfect (with his finish)," the Dutchman said.

"I took some risks and it paid off in a spectacular way. The team is very resilient."

The result left Everton in 11th place, six points below the European places and four points above 14th-place champions Chelsea.

 

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