Essien gets Carlo's backing after seeing red

13 years ago

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is not passing any judgment yet on Michael Essien's red card until he has seen the midfielder's tackle again.

Essien scored the winner for Chelsea in their 1-0 win against Fulham at Stamford Bridge with a 30th-minute header but he was sent off deep into stoppage-time for a two-footed tackle on Cottagers man Clint Dempsey.

And Essien's dismissal took some of the shine off his display but Ancelotti insists, on first sight, he did not think the midfielder's challenge looked dangerous.

"I don't like to judge the decision," said Ancelotti. "But I can say that maybe it was not a red card because Essien made a strong tackle, but on the ball.

"There was not a risk on the opponent. I think he went for the ball, the last ball of the game, an important ball.

"I don't think he did a silly foul. He tried to do a tackle, he won the tackle. And I'm not sure it was a sending-off.

"I'd like to see it again but directly, on the pitch, I didn't think it was a dangerous tackle. I hope we won't lose him for three games. That would be a problem if we lose him for three games. We have to wait, I think. I want to watch the replay before doing anything."