Tottenham boss Redknapp fumes: Ref apologised for Mata goal. He guessed!

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp blamed ref Martin Atkinson for their 5-1 FA Cup semifinal defeat to Chelsea.
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Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp blamed ref Martin Atkinson for their 5-1 FA Cup semifinal defeat to Chelsea.

Chelsea were edging the contest at Wembley 1-0 thanks to Didier Drogba's first-half opener when Atkinson awarded the Blues a second through Juan Mata in the 48th minute.

The Spaniard shot goalwards through a crowded penalty box, but with defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Mata's team-mate John Terry both on the turf, the ball was able to cross the line.

"The second goal was a disaster," said a disconsolate Redknapp. "It was nowhere near a goal. It was a huge mistake.

"We looked too open after that and they picked us off. It was key.

"He's (Atkinson) made a big mistake. I don't see how he can give the goal. It's nowhere near over the line.

"There were bodies on the line and the ball couldn't possibly get over the line.

"He must have (guessed). He can't have been sure."

Tottenham's players were incensed at the decision and surrounded the referee and assistant Mick McDonough after the 'goal', but it was already too late. It had been given.

Redknapp revealed Atkinson had approached him after the game to apologise.

Redknapp added: "I spoke to him. He says he feels worse than I do. I said: 'I don't think so'. He knows he's made a mistake and he says he'll have a bad week as well."

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