Roman Abramovich may have watched his new manager lose his first game in charge of Chelsea but the club's Russian owner staged a very open display of support for Avram Grant on Sunday, says The Independent

Sources close to the club said the Chelsea owner congratulated the players and their manager in the dressing room within 15 minutes of the final whistle.

Abramovich came to the Chelsea dressing room with fellow director Eugene Tenenbaum and his bodyguards to make it very clear he was behind Grant.

The Russian told the players that they had done well despite the 2-0 defeat, which turned on 32 minutes when John Obi Mikel was harshly dismissed for a challenge on Patrice Evra.

It was regarded by the players as a signal that the owner was completely in support of Grant despite an inauspicious start.