Bridge: Ref got it wrong
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Wayne Bridge has expressed sympathy for Arsenal opponent Emmanuel Adebayor after insisting that referee Howard Webb dismissed the wrong man in the Carling Cup final.
Webb was called into action deep into injury time when a mass of bodies entangled at The Millennium Stadium, and the referee delved into his pocket to brandish red cards for Adebayor, Kolo Toure and John Obi Mikel.
Adebayor's dismissal angered the Togo international deeply and he made his unhappiness clear as he was ushered off the pitch.
The Gunners star was seemingly given his marching orders for tangling with Bridge, but replays showed that it was Emmanuel Eboue who appeared to strike the Chelsea left-back to the ground.
More will become clear when Webb's match report is submitted to The Football Association, but Bridge is certain that his Arsenal adversary Adebayor did not deserve to see red.
"The referee sent the wrong man off," said Bridge.
"I can understand his (Adebayor) frustration at getting sent off. There must have been a mix-up between the ref and his linesman."
Even if Adebayor is cleared of violent conduct he could still face a charge of failing to leave the field of play following the incident that overshadowed what had been an entertaining contest.
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard also became embroiled in a confrontation with Cesc Fabregas as both managers raced onto the field to calm the situation, but the England star was sure his involvement did not merit more than the booking that he and the Spaniard incurred.
"You back your team-mate up, it is as simple as that. Then it escalated from there. I get disappointed when red cards get brandished but as I say, you back your team-mate up and it escalates," said Lampard.
"So, it happened. I was surprised to see the manager on the pitch but he was quick though, wasn't he?
"You back your team up and I suppose the managers back their players.
"It was a moment when you have to show restraint and I think I showed enough restraint not to get a red card."