Juan Mata's strike early in the second half of the FA Cup semi-final was awarded as a goal by Martin Atkinson despite video replays showing the ball had not crossed the lineChelsea captain John Terry has admitted knowing that Juan Mata’s ‘ghost goal’ had not crossed the line during his side’s 5-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham.
Referee Martin Atkinson awarded the Blues' second goal despite video replays showing that the ball had been blocked by Terry and Spurs defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
The goal was a key turning point in the match and the centre-back sees the incident as proof that goal-line technology should be introduced.
Terry told ITV after the match: “I thought it hit me, if I’m honest. I don’t think it did [cross the line], I thought it stayed out, but I’ve not seen it on the replay.
“We’ve been calling for goal-line technology for some time – let’s hope that the people that be make the right decision.
“It was an important game today and it’s gone our way, but throughout the season things go with you and against you. Today it’s gone for us and we’re delighted.”
His Chelsea team-mate and scorer of the Blues’ fourth goal, Frank Lampard, was unsure of the Mata goal but argued that his side had merited the win on the day regardless.
“I didn’t see [the Mata goal], but if we got lucky there, we got lucky,” the midfielder stated.
“I took the corner, so I couldn’t see it, but we scored a lot of goals, created a lot of chances. That might have brought them back to 1-1 when they scored [if Mata’s had been disallowed], maybe, but over the course of the game we deserved to win.”
Meanwhile, Tottenham skipper Ledley King was in disbelief and indicated that his side’s resulting struggle to catch up inflated the scoreline.
“From where I was, I didn’t think it had crossed the line and I find it hard to believe that [the referee] couldn’t see from where he was,” argued the centre-back.
“There’s nothing you can do. We were on the pitch remonstrating with the referee, telling him that it didn’t cross the line, but he makes the decision.
“Having said that, though, we got ourselves back in the game, 2-1, but we’ve just been caught out trying to go and get that second goal. We got picked off.”
Controversy aside, the Chelsea players were full of optimism for Wednesday’s next match, against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final.
“We’re confident and that was a great result to take into that game,” Lampard enthused.
“We know they’re the best but we can’t have fear, we’ve got to believe in ourselves. We know it’s a tough battle but we’re ready to go for it.”
And Terry added: “Wednesday’s going to be really tough, but if we play some of the football like we did today then we’ve got a chance.”