x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Drogba and Co in the dog house

Luiz Felipe Scolari had promised to win everything possible in his first season in charge of Chelsea.

Didier Drogba throws an object back into the crowd during Chelsea's Carling Cup tie against Burnley.
Didier Drogba throws an object back into the crowd during Chelsea's Carling Cup tie against Burnley.

LONDON // Luiz Felipe Scolari had promised to win everything possible in his first season in charge of Chelsea. That was a confident claim from a confident man, but he also put himself under more pressure than he should have in possibly English football's most unforgiving job. The Brazilian will be hoping the Carling Cup exit to the Championship side Burnley on Wednesday night is the only disappointment he suffers, just a blip on his glory-seeking radar.

It is that upbeat message he will relay to his players to ensure their confidence has not been dented too much, although he said: "That's a problem. We lost against Liverpool, we lost against Roma and we lost against Burnley. "Every time we lose it's a problem for us. We need to try again with confidence for the players. "The players are disappointed because they lost a competition, but we are in a good position in the Premier League and in the Champions League. We want to win all competitions."

Scolari will be concerned his much-vaunted side do look fallible, despite some impressive performances. They lost 5-4 on penalties to Burnley at Stamford Bridge in a game they should have won comfortably rather than draw 1-1 after the Clarets' striker Ade Akinbiyi forced extra time. Chelsea created, and spurned, a host of chances to show their good and bad side, while Didier Drogba provided the ugly. The striker marked his return to the starting line up with a goal, but was booked for throwing a coin back into the Burnley end. He then appeared to make an obscene gesture at the visiting fans.

The London Metropolitan Police and the English Football Association yesterday confirmed they are investigating the incident with the Ivorian facing the prospect of a lengthy ban. Drogba was quick to apologise, saying: "I tried to celebrate the goal and I received some things at me. The big mistake I did was to throw it back so if someone was hurt I just want to apologise for it. This is not something I should show in a football match and I want to apologise. It was an incident in the heat of the moment and I regret it. It was just a mistake and nothing more."

John Mikel Obi and Wayne Bridge were denied by Brian Jensen in the penalty shoot-out, which is the fifth the Blues have lost in succession, including their Champions League defeat to Manchester United in May. Owen Coyle, the Burnley manager, said: "Brian has been outstanding all season and I felt he would stop a minimum of one penalty. He's worked hard in training, but we didn't practice penalties as who would have thought we would be in a penalty shoot-out."

akhan@thenational.ae