IAN Evatt was fuming about the penalty decision which swung Monday night’s match decisively in Chelsea’s favour but Ian Holloway later accepted that referee Mike Dean applied the letter of the law.
The Seasiders centre-back felt he was wrongly adjudged to have fouled Salomon Kalou in the box, when the score was 1-0.
Frank Lampard converted the second-half spot-kick, then added a third goal four minutes later to seal victory.
Manager Holloway was disgusted with the decision at the time, though he offered a more considered opinion afterwards.
Holloway said: “Unfortunately, Chelsea got a situation in the box. At this level, a defender can’t go to ground because the opposition are very experienced, and if they feel you making a challenge they can’t wait to fall over.
“That’s what I felt happened and the referee couldn’t wait to give it.
“But I know the brief the referee has and if there is any sort of contact like that it is a penalty.
“We hardly had chance to recover from that before Chelsea were 3-0 ahead.
“My lads still came back, though, and funnily enough Chelsea looked a tad nervous.
“Maybe that was because defensively we had a bit of a shape that was hard for them.
“We had a formation that was like a Christmas tree – 4-3-2-1 – and we kept sticking to it. I played like that because I wanted to fill up the middle.”