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Chelsea, Drogba face UEFA sanctions

CHELSEA, and particularly striker Didier Drogba, are likely to be in big trouble with UEFA after chaotic scenes marred the end of Wednesday's Champions League semifinal second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Having been taken off injured after 72 minutes, the Ivorian stormed back onto the pitch after the final whistle and charged aggressively towards Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo.

Gesticulating wildly as he complained about the penalties Chelsea felt it should have been awarded, Drogba was booked before being dragged away by stewards.

"F...... Disgrace," he shouted on the Stamford Bridge pitch while swearing at the television cameras. He was not finished, however, returning for another go at the tunnel and even shrugging off the efforts of manager Guus Hiddink to calm him.

With angry spectators throwing flags and other items at the celebrating Barcelona players and the technical area in total chaos in the final few minutes at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea can expect an early knock on the door from UEFA's disciplinary committee.

Hiddink, however, refused to condemn Drogba's histrionics. "I can fully understand his reaction," he said.

"He was full of emotion and full of adrenalin but he was in control. If he went beyond that and started hitting he should go, but I fully understand his behavior after the game and I will protect him.

"There is an overall feeling of being robbed, injustice," Hiddink said. "That's why the players were so hot and angry...

"If you have seen three or four situations waved away then it's the worst I have seen (from a referee). At this moment I have to think if I have seen worse."

Captain John Terry issued a staunch defense of Drogba's abuse of the referee.

"I'm fully behind Didier, the way he reacted," Terry said. "You can see the passion he played with in the game and afterwards. But the fact is the referee is the one who should face the consequences, not Didier and not us by not going through.

"Players come into these games hoping and praying they don't make mistakes but referees are the same - only they get away with it."

Hiddink came to the post-match press conference with meticulous notes of the penalties that never were and clutching a DVD of a match he will struggle to watch again when his four-month tenure ends after the May 30 FA Cup final against Everton.

"It's not just one decision in doubt but it's several not made decisions," Hiddink said.

"In big games like this you need top-notch referees who have had big experience in the leagues of Spain, Italy, England and Germany."

It wasn't only Chelsea which could leave the ground with a grievance toward the referee. Barcelona's Eric Abidal was sent off in the 66th for a challenge on Anelka in the penalty area despite appearing to make minimal contact with the French striker.

That red card rules the defender out of the final.


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