We wuz robbed by linesman fumes Wigan boss
Published 22:31 07/04/12 By Steve Stammers
Roberto Martinez has delivered a withering attack on the competence of referee’s assistant Dave Bryan.
The Wigan manager, normally one of the most laid-back bosses in English football, was incensed by the decisions that, he believed, cost his team at least a precious point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Martinez’s criticism could prove damning enough to spark an FA disciplinary charge.
But English football’s governing body had better be careful - video replays proved the outraged Wigan boss was absolutely right.
After his relegation-threatened side's 2-1 loss, Martinez said: “The linesman had a disgusting performance. My players were robbed.”
Chelsea won with an injury-time winner from Juan Mata – but it was the Blues' opener from Branislav Ivanovic that had Martinez fuming.
Television replays showed that the Serb was clearly offside when he converted a headed cross from Didier Drogba.
Martinez said he was consistently concerned about Mr Bryan’s decision-making – especially about off-side calls.
“I have been asked if that shows we need technology,” the Spaniard went on. “My answer is no. What you need is officials who do their job properly.
“When you come to Stamford Bridge, you need to be perfect. We needed to stop Chelsea who are semi-finalists in the Champions League and we looked a real threat.
“But their first goal was a real blow. From our point of view, it was as cruel as it can get.
“I feel sorry for the referee. He relies on the linesman and the linesman did not help him.
“It has happened too many times to us and we should have got better decisions.”
Wigan looked to have earned a draw when Mohamed Diame hit an 82nd-minute equaliser - and a point would have given Martinez’s team the psychological lift of an exit from the relegation zone and a more healthy 16th place.
“There is a feeling of real injustice in our dressing room,” he added. “We did not get the result we deserved.”
Chelsea caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo admitted: “Wigan were really unlucky not to get something out of the game. There was no tempo or intensity to our game in the first half.
“But often, after a Champions League game, there is sometimes a hangover in the next game.”
The win boosted Chelsea’s hopes of a top four finish.
They have won 11 and lost just one of their last 14 Premier League games
That run of form, allied to their progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League and FA Cup, has transformed their fortunes.
Di Matteo said: “We are in a position now where we have to win, so we are pleased to get the three points. But we showed that the spirit in the squad is strong.
“Branislav Ivanovic showed that the great thing about this group is that we can get goals from everywhere and that takes a bit of pressure off the strikers.
“But you also have to give credit to Wigan. I have seen them play recently and they have done well.
“They were really unlucky not to get something out of the game.”