Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho slammed the red card Fernando Torres received in the drawn London derby at the weekend, labelling it “a disgrace” that Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen “pretended he was hurt and stayed on the floor” after a collision with the Spaniard.
One wonders what The Special One thinks about the fact that El Nino could be in more hot water, after he grabbed at Vertonghen’s face earlier in the game.
Mourinho himself is notorious for gouging former Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova in the eye, and perhaps such street-fighting techniques have found their way into Chelsea’s training regime.
When Torres picked up his first yellow card of the game, he had clawed Vertonghen in the face. It is unclear if the referee punished him for that offence, or for the initial trip on the Belgian defender who had riled him so.
If it is established in the referee’s post-match report that the face scratch went unpunished, Torres could be in trouble.
He will already miss one match due to his sending off, but will face a further three-match censure if he is citied for raising his hands aggressively towards Vertonghen.
In that case, he will effectively be ruled out of Chelsea’s October fixtures, a devastating blow for the striker- who had played arguably his best game in Blue, in helping Chelsea rescue a point against Tottenham.
Torres’ running feud with Vertonghen ultimately led to his dismissal, but it was clear to see that his own improving form had invigorated him to try his utmost.
And he will take heart with the fact that Mourinho intends to continue showing faith in his abilities, whether he is punished scratching Vertonghen or not.
"He's very strong and, physically, he's living a very good moment," Mourinho said of improving El Nino.
"I watched Fernando's matches for Chelsea in other seasons on the television and he looked to me a bit heavy, a little slow. Now he looks in fantastic shape. He knows I'm happy with his performances.
"He knows I trust him and that's important. If I leave him out, he knows I'm trying to do the best for him and the team. He's not under the pressure he was under in other years and, physically, we are working with him."