Chelsea's Obi Mikel: Crouch blast misdirected

The Liverpool striker was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Obi Mikel but accused the Chelsea ace of over-reacting. He then claimed foreign players had a reputation for play-acting.

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Nigerian Mikel told The Sun: "There is nothing to say to Crouch. All I know is that I am not a diver and will not start doing that now.

"Foreign players bring a lot to the league. That's why there are so many here at the moment.

"There is Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Cristiano Ronaldo and Dimitar Berbatov, amongst other top players. They make the league very competitive and we cannot all be bad just because one player feels so."

The youngster added: "I respect Peter Crouch as a fellow professional but calling me names is way off the mark.

"I may be a young player but I'm professional enough to accept that football should be played fairly.

"Everyone saw what happened. Crouch should just focus on his game instead of lamenting and making unfounded allegations about other players."

Despite Crouch's claims, Mikel WAS injured in the incident and is struggling to make tomorrow's trip to Blackburn.

Chelsea boss Avram Grant rapped: "Crouch is a very honest guy but he can only be talking about the foreign players who play for his own team. I don't think he knows much about other foreign players.

"I really don't like it when people talk about 'foreigners' like this. We need to think about the person and not his nationality.

"For me, there are good players and not good players; players that behave nicely and others that don't.

"I see foreign players that behave well and I see some English players who make bad tackles that take opponents out for a few weeks.

"I have heard that Peter Crouch is a nice guy so he needs to look at himself and see what is wrong instead of finding excuses."

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