Chelsea referee fury adds fire to Manchester United return

Chelsea

Chelsea have made a formal complaint about the language allegedly used by referee Mark Clattenburg to two of their players during the controversial 3-2 home defeat to Manchester United.

The dramatic development, which came after a stormy top of the table clash at Stamford Bridge yesterday, will add fire to Wednesday evening when the two sides meet again in London in the League Cup.

"We have lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate with regard to inappropriate language used by the referee and directed at two of our players in two separate incidents during today's match," said a Chelsea statement.

"The match delegate will pass the complaint to the football association. We will make no further comment at this time."

Sky Sports News claimed late Sunday that one of the players involved was Chelsea's Nigerian star John Obi Mikel.

Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO), the body which represents Premier League referees, released a statement which read: "PGMO is aware of the allegations and they are being treated with the utmost seriousness.

"Mark will co-operate fully and welcomes the opportunity for the facts to be established."

All four officials -- the referee, his two assistants and the fourth official -- wore microphones and ear pieces that allowed them to hear what each other was saying throughout the match.

But under FIFA guidelines, what is said between them is not recorded.

The complaint came after a highly-charged encounter in which Clattenburg dismissed two Chelsea players before Javier Hernandez secured the points for United with a goal that Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo insisted should have been ruled out for offside.

Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres were sent off but it was the decision of Clattenburg to issue a second yellow card for diving after a challenge by Jonny Evans that was the focus of much of Di Matteo's frustration.

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