Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink will defend Didier Drogba if he is punished by Uefa for his outburst at referee Tom Henning Ovrebo at the end of their Champions League defeat to Barcelona.
The Blues crashed out to Barcelona after Andres Iniesta’s injury-time goal sent them out on the away goals rule.
Chelsea players angrily confronted Henning Ovrebo for turning down four penalty appeals by the Blues.
Uefa are expected to investigate Drogba’s behaviour and the Ivorian could find himself facing a lengthy ban, but Hiddink said he will stand by the striker.
“Of course I can fully understand his reaction – full of adrenaline and emotion,” said Hiddink. “People say he should be in control. The moment a player starts hitting then he is going beyond where he should go.
“I can understand his emotion and his behaviour after the game. I will protect that.”
But Hiddink admitted he found it hard to remember when he had seen such an erratic refereeing performance.
“In big games like this you need top-notch referees who have had big experience in leagues like Spain, Italy, England and Germany,” he added.
“There is an overall feeling of being robbed, injustice. That’s why they were so hot and angry and I could understand the emotion of the players.
“Of course the players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes and referees can make mistakes, that’s why we talk about giving the benefit of the doubt.
“But if you have seen three or four situations waved away, then it’s the worst I have seen.
“In the first half you see Malouda was clearly pulled over in the penalty area and the referee had a perfect view on the vertical of the line. You see handball situations and the arms are up not down.
“With Anelka, the hand was lifted by Pique and when the shot came from Ballack, Eto’o lifted his upper arm but they were all waved away.”