By Liam Twomey at Stamford Bridge
Malky Mackay declared himself "really disappointed" with the officiating decision which led to Chelsea's equaliser during Cardiff's 4-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
With his side 1-0 up, Bluebirds goalkeeper David Marshall let go of the ball with Samuel Eto'o next to him, allowing the Cameroon international to poke it in mid-air to Eden Hazard, and the Belgian equalised from the resulting penalty area scramble.
Mackay contends that Marshall bounced the ball rather than dropped it, meaning it was still in his control and Eto'o's intervention should have been given as a foul.
"I’ve got to be careful what I say, because I’m not intending to have money taken off me but I did go in and ask for clarification of the ruling, and of what the ref and linesman saw, and the explanation leaves me really disappointed, because I’ve since looked at it," he told reporters.
"The explanation was they felt the goalkeeper dropped the ball. My goalkeeper saw Samuel Eto’o standing next to him and he bounced the ball.
"They told me if he’s got the ball under his control and bounces it, that would be a foul.
"I asked for [Marshall's] opinion. He saw Eto’o standing next to him and he knows the rule, that’s why he bounced it."
When asked why Marshall decided to bounce the ball with Eto'o right next to him, Mackay bullishly replied: "Because he’s allowed to bounce the ball and Eto’o’s not allowed to touch the ball."
A tempestuous match also saw Jose Mourinho sent to the stands for protesting about Cardiff time-wasting, and the Portuguese may now be banned from the touchline for his side's clash with Manchester City on October 27.
Chelsea assistant first-team coach Steve Holland, attending the post-match press conference in place of a "frustrated" Mourinho, admitted his team might have been fortunate with their equaliser.
"It looked to me like the goalkeeper was bouncing the ball," he conceded. "The referee had a very clear view of it, he was happy with it and we move on.
"If that is the case [a stroke of luck], over the course of the season those things go one way or the other."
Further goals from Oscar and Hazard added gloss to a win made possible by Eto'o's first goal in Chelsea colours to put his side 2-1 up, and Holland praised the Cameroonian's contribution.
"Samuel has scored goals at the top level throughout Europe all of his career, but I’m sure he’ll be happy to get that first one under his belt.
"It’s something the staff and players have seen every day in training. Physically you can change as your life moves on, but quality is permanent.
"Hopefully it’s something we’ll see more often in the future."
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