In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, ex-referee Tom Henning Ovrebo speaks about his performance in the Blues’ controversial Champions League clash with Barcelona 10 years ago, Tiemoue Bakayoko gives his side of the story after his touchline row with AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso and former Blue Steve Clarke reacts to the rumour that Jose Mourinho is considering an offer from Scottish giants Celtic.
Ovrebo wishes he had VAR in 2009
Former referee Tom Henning Ovrebo has opened up on his performance in the controversial Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and Barcelona in 2009, lamenting that he did not have the benefit of video assistant referee (VAR) technology for that game.
Speaking to Spanish-language football magazine Panenka on the 10th anniversary of the infamous match at Stamford Bridge, the Norwegian admitted he did not have the best of nights as he repeatedly turned down penalty appeals by the Blues, some for clear-cut infringements by the visitors.
Barca took full advantage of those let-offs to equalise in stoppage time and advance to the final on away goals.
‘I wish I had the help of the VAR that day,’ said Ovrebo, who retired from refereeing in 2013.
'After the first half, my assistants and I felt that we had control. At the end of the match, however, I did not have that feeling.
‘When I got to the dressing room I thought: 'Okay, Tom Henning, this has not been your best night'.'
The 52-year-old felt his performance that night probably cost him the chance of officiating at the World Cup in South Africa the following year.
‘In the space of two hours, I went from being a fairly respected referee to becoming the biggest fool in international football,’ he said.
‘I did not go to the World Cup. My team and I knew we had a good chance of going if we did a good job at Stamford Bridge. In the end, we did not do it, and I think it's natural that our chance to be at the World Cup in South Africa disappeared.’
Bakayoko gives his side of story
Tiemoue Bakayoko has given his side of the story on his touchline row with AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso during the Serie A match against Bologna on Monday, insisting he did not refuse to come on as a substitute in the game.
The French midfielder, who was sent out on loan by Chelsea to the Italian club before the start of the season, was involved in the heated exchange when he was asked to warm-up after Lucas Biglia went down injured midway through the first half.
Gattuso appeared dissatisfied with Bakayoko’s efforts on the touchline and the pair exchanged words in the dugout with Bakayoko appearing to use an obscenity against the manager, who opted to send on Jose Mauri to replace Biglia.
The Frenchman subsequently explained his actions on Twitter, saying that he was only repeating the words that Gattuso had used against him.
‘Despite starting on the bench I was ready to give 200 per cent even if I only played five minutes tonight,’ he said.
‘When Lucas [Biglia] began to suffer on the ground, I was asked to prepare for the change. So I prepared myself immediately and went to warm up for a maximum of 2/3 minutes.
‘Then I was asked to return to the bench. everything passes I think between 23 and 26 minutes.
‘It was when I sat on the bench that the coach spoke to me in unexpected terms and I only repeated his words. Nothing more.
‘Let me be clear: I have never refused to come into play and I do not have to drag myself to warm up. It seems to me that the images speak for themselves.
‘I had only one desire which was to enter the field and help my team-mates as I have always done and as I will do until the end of the season. Forza Milan.’
Clarke laughs off Mourinho rumour
Former Chelsea player and assistant coach Steve Clarke believes that Jose Mourinho is unlikely to take charge of Celtic next season as the ex-Blues boss is looking to work for a club in a more high-profile European league.
The Portuguese, who has been out of management since he parted company with Manchester United last December, has been linked with a stunning move to the Scottish giants in recent days.
However, Clarke, who worked under Mourinho as an assistant coach at Stamford Bridge and now manages Scottish side Kilmarnock, dismissed the suggestion.
‘I did have a little grin,’ said Clarke, according to Goal.com.
‘I’m not sure Jose would come to Scotland. He’d probably be looking to go to a more high-profile European league.
‘And to somebody who is going to pay him a little bit closer to £12 million per year!’
Bordeaux interested in Giroud
Ligue 1 side Bordeaux have expressed interest in bringing Chelsea striker Oliver Giroud back to France next season, according to the Evening Standard.
The 32-year-old is the top scorer in the Europa League this season with 10 goals and was linked last month with another French side, Nice.
However, Bordeaux have look entered the fray with their chief scout Hugo Varela saying: ‘People who know him have told us a lot of good things about him as a player, of course, but also as a person.
‘He has the attributes we are looking for, but he is not the only one. No matter who comes, we know that negotiations will be difficult.’