'I was gutted for him' - Mount sympathises with 'mate' Tomori after Champions League red card & gives penalty verdict
- Played together for Chelsea, Derby & England
- Faced off twice in Champions League
- Tomori sent off for foul on Mount
WHAT HAPPENED? An incident involving the two former teammates caused a real stir on Tuesday evening. Tomori conceded a penalty and was given his marching orders for a rather innocuous challenge on Mount in just the 18th minute. Speaking after the match, the Chelsea and England midfielder - who went on to win the player of the match award - admitted it was perhaps an unfair decision against one of his good friends.
WHAT HE SAID: "He's obviously my mate, I’ve known Fik for a very long time and I felt for him in that situation, I was gutted for him," Mount told Chelsea's website. "I don’t think it was a sending off. Was it a penalty? Maybe yes. I’m an honest player and I want to try to score a goal and he pulled me back a little bit but I feel for him for that decision. It’s a tough one.
"I felt him trying to pull me back but I was running to goal so I wasn’t going to go down and I felt like I could still have an opportunity to score. So I carried on going, didn’t score and then obviously the ref blew up and gave a pen straight away. I was probably a bit surprised at the time because I’ve still gone through and had a shot.
"It was hard to see him get sent off. You still want to be playing 11 v 11 and going at it with two good teams, so it maybe ruined the game a bit. It was massive for us and we obviously wanted to win the game, which we did, but I still feel for Fik a lot."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Having come through the Chelsea academy and spent a year on loan at Derby together, it was clear neither player was trying to gain an unfair advantage against the other. Both of them have had plenty of support for the incident; Mount for staying on his feet when he could've gone to ground and Tomori for being rather harshly sent off. Although, as he wasn't making an attempt to win the ball in the process of making the foul, the referee technically made the correct decision within the laws of the game.
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WHAT NEXT FOR TOMORI? It's another setback for the 24-year-old as he looks to convince Gareth Southgate to include him in England's World Cup squad. A red card in such an important game won't help his chances of displacing the established core of central defenders, with a preliminary squad set to be announced later in October.