Thursday, 7 May 2009

Drogba sinks Chelsea to new low

Uefa could take action against Didier Drogba for a post-match confrontation with referee Tom Henning Ovrebo and foul-mouthed tirade at television cameras in the aftermath of Chelsea's dramatic Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Barcelona – and rightly so.

The combustible Ivory Coast striker made a mockery of a supposed knee injury which forced him off in the second half to race towards the under-fire Norwegian match official in his flip-flops and begin a wide-eyed rant.

Drogba was incensed that Ovrebo had rejected four genuine penalty appeals for the home side but no amount of perceived injustice should have brought about the shameful scenes which could yet result in serious repercussions for Drogba and Chelsea.

This is the same player who put his ego before his club in last season's Champions League final when he was sent off for a petulant slap at Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic. Drogba, who was restrained by Chelsea stewards before breaking loose and yelling "It's a f****** disgrace" straight down a live TV camera, was not alone in leading the protests.

Michael Ballack, who has been playing on his reputation for most of the season, chased Ovrebo for 20 yards in a provocative attempt to win a penalty when his shot appeared to strike the arm of Samuel Eto'o.

Captain John Terry, no stranger to unsavoury headlines throughout his career, took on the mantle of playground bully at the final whistle and he too could come under scrutiny by Uefa bosses for branding Ovrebo's performance as "astonishing".

The manner of their elimination from Europe's elite club competition was all the more galling given that Barcelona, for all their possession, had not registered a single shot on target until the 92nd minute when Andres Iniesta cancelled out Michael Essien's wonder strike.

Yet Chelsea, and, specifically, Drogba, must surely rue a hatful of chances passed up over the two legs to kill off the gifted Primera Liga leaders. Guus Hiddink's comment that he would "protect" Drogba from any action by Uefa was as predictable as it was unhelpful and it will be no surprise if the Ivorian follows the temporary manager out of west London at the end of the season.

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