Terry admits red-card chat with referee
Chelsea captain John Terry said he'd spoken to referee Phil Dowd in the lead-up to the official's decision to send off Swansea's Chico Flores.
Swansea had to play most of the match a man down after Flores was dismissed in the 16th minute for two reckless tackles at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
But it wasn't until the 68th minute that Demba Ba scored the only goal of the match Chelsea won 1-0 to stay second in the Premier League table, two points behind leaders Liverpool with four games to play.
"I just said, 'it's a second yellow for me'," Terry recalled.
"He (Dowd) gave him one a couple of minutes before, on the halfway line, and that one just outside the box is probably even more a yellow than the other one," the former England centre-back added.
"Fair play to Phil, the ref, it was a big decision to make and I thought he made the right one and credit goes to him for that."
However, Swansea caretaker head coach Garry Monk was rather less impressed with the conduct of Terry and several other Chelsea players, and indeed the Blues' management, in the lead-up to Dowd dismissing Spanish defender Flores for his second challenge on Andre Schurrle.
- 'Letter of the law' -
"If you go by the letter of the law it is a sending off, but if you go by the letter of the law every week, you will get six or seven sendings off a game," said Monk.
"The disappointing thing was that he looked like he signalled straight away 'no' -- as if to signal it didn't warrant another yellow.
"Then their bench and manager (Jose Mourinho) surrounds the fourth official and their players surround the referee. Then, the red card comes later on.
"It makes you wonder, doesn't it?," added Monk, who said he hadn't had the chance to shake hands with Mourinho following the match after the Portuguese boss went straight down the tunnel at the final whistle.
"But I know Phil and he is an honest guy. I don't think he responded to the pressure. If he says it was him giving himself time, then it is him giving himself time. But the circumstances make it strange.
"It's not great when people are asking for the ref to dish out a red card but what can you do? It happens and you trust that the ref was strong enough to deal with all that."
Mourinho didn't attend the post-match press conference, leaving that to assistant manager Steve Holland instead.
"The two yellow card decisions were crystal clear. I think the referee was correct on both counts," said Holland.
"I think the referee made the decision and he made it correctly. As to who he speaks to and how long he takes, you will have to ask him how it works."
Holland paid tribute to Ba, who earlier in the week had scored in Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final win over Paris Saint-Germain.
"It is a fantastic three points for us, and very much a case of getting over the line, really," said Holland.
"Demba deserves to have the week that he's had. Two very important goals, and all credit to him."
Liverpool's 3-2 win over Manchester City earlier Sunday kept them on top but left third-placed City five points behind Chelsea but with two games in hand.
"Not much has changed in terms of the league," said Holland. "We are five points clear of Manchester City, and they have two games in hand. If Manchester City win all their matches, they finish ahead of Chelsea.
"We have probably got to win all of our games, one way or another. That's the likelihood, but we have been facing that task now for a good couple of weeks.
"It's also a real boost that we have a clear week this week. I can't stress enough the extra demand that the Champions League brings with those fixtures in the week. It is just what the doctor ordered, to give the players a bit of a break this week."