Tom Henning Ovrebo, the referee who took charge of the last meeting between Chelsea and Barcelona, has admitted on the eve of the Champions League semi-final between the two sides that he made mistakes in the 2009 contest that cost the Premier League club dearly, ESPN
Ovrebo rejected four Chelsea penalty appeals that he now feels he should have awarded but declined to apologise for his errors. He said: “Everyone who knows the laws of the game knows I should have done things differently. I was actually satisfied with the way we all managed to keep calm in a tense situation. On the pitch I did my best. I shouldn’t have to apologise as mistakes are part of the game.”
The Norwegian subsequently received death threats from irate Chelsea supporters and revealed they angry messages continue to this day, while immediately after the final whistle Ovrebo was confronted by Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba. The Ivorian launched a profanity-laden tirade directed at the official for which Drogba was later suspended, while Chelsea full-back Jose Bosingwa was also banned for three games for his protestations.
Andres Iniesta’s 90th minute strike settled a finely balanced game that Chelsea had been leading through Michael Essien’s first-half goal. The Blues had returned from Barcelona’s Nou Camp with a 0-0 draw but the late effort from Iniesta sent the competition’s eventual winners to the final via the away goal rule.
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