Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari took a vow of silence after captain John Terry was sent off in a goalless draw away to Everton that denied the Londoners first place in the Premier League.
Instead it is Liverpool who hold the Christmas No. 1 position in the English soccer charts following Monday’s draw at Goodison Park.
The result saw Scolari’s side close to within a point of the leaders ahead of Chelsea’s clash with bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion on Friday.
Not that the Brazilian wanted to comment on that, or indeed much else, after referee Phil Dowd showed Terry a straight red card 10 minutes before half-time for a reckless challenge on Everton midfielder Leon Osman.
Scolari failed to turn up for the post-match press conference, as did any of his backroom staff, for fear, according to a club spokesman, of saying something that would land him in trouble with the Football Association.
“None of the management team feel able to come up,” the spokesman said. “They have issues with a number of decisions and feel it would be better if they did not comment.”
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, who made several fine saves, was rather more forthcoming.
Commenting on Terry’s sending-off, Cech said: “It was hard to see from where I was. It’s hard for the ref to see exactly what happens because he has only a split second and the crowd are behind so it makes it more difficult.”
“He made a decision and we have to live with it. It’s a pity because we wanted to win the game and go top of the league but in the end it’s a good point,” Cech said.