Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff

Assistant coach Holland reacts:

Jose is very frustrated and it stems from the time wasting by the opposition from the first two or three minutes of the game,’ said Holland. ‘We mentioned it to the fourth official on countless occasions in a very professional manner. Where he assured us he had contact with the referee and that he was aware of the clear time wasting, he didn’t appear to do anything about it and it didn’t have any effect on the Cardiff players and the time they were taking for free-kicks and goal-kicks.

‘The result changed from 1-0 to them to 2-1 to us and we had a throw-in right in front of the dug-out. I think they’d just kicked the ball out because they had to give us the ball back, the young ball boy who went to the corner flag threw it back, Ivanovic had it in his hands for two seconds, no more, and the referee was on to him about getting the ball back into play and pointing at his watch.

‘It didn’t run consistently with how that issue had been dealt with for the previous hour, so it’s purely a case of huge frustration at that, and to have then been sent off for showing that frustration is very harsh.’

On our equaliser, which stemmed from Eto’o stealing the ball off Cardiff goalkeeper Marshall as he took a goal-kick…
‘My view of it was that Samuel was on the shoulder of the goalkeeper, I think the goalkeeper was aware that he was there.

‘He went to bounce the ball and as it was in mid-air Samuel touched it, the ball broke for us and we equalised. The referee had a very good view of it, I’m sure he’s aware of the rules of the game.

‘If that is the case [that the goal shouldn’t have stood], over the course of the season those things can go for you or against you. The referee had a very clear view of it and was happy with it, so we move on.’

On a first Chelsea goal for Eto’o…
‘It’s always difficult when you change clubs, but to change countries and leagues as well increases that. He’s scored goals at the top level throughout Europe all through his career, but I’m sure he’ll still be feeling happier to have that first one under his belt and be off the mark.

‘It’s something the staff and players have seen on many days in training. Physically you can change as your life moves on but quality is permanent and we’ve seen that finishing in training for a good few weeks now and it was good that the supporters got to see it in a game today. Hopefully that’s something we’ll see more often in the future.

‘All strikers like to be scoring goals, it’s what helps makes them tick, and to get off the mark is something I’m sure he’ll be happy about and hopefully we get the benefits of that immediately.’

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