Mikel makes apology
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
John Obi Mikel apologised for his part in the violent scenes during injury time.
John Obi Mikel apologised for his part in the violent scenes that marred the final minutes of the Carling Cup final, but the Chelsea midfielder insisted he was not deserving of a red card.
The Nigerian midfielder's challenge on Kolo Toure sparked a mass brawl at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium as the two players indulged in a spot of shoving.
Mikel and Toure were both dismissed, along with Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, whilst Cesc Fabregas and Frank Lampard were booked for their part in the fracas.
Mikel has expressed his remorse that the showpiece event was ended in such disgraceful fashion, but the Blues youngster insists Howard Webb made a mistake by sending him off.
"It was an emotional thing and I was caught up in it. I am really sorry about what happened but I didn't deserve the card," said Mikel.
"I can only apologise for what happened, I am very sorry about it. I really can't explain what happened but I pulled him [Toure] and the referee gave a free-kick to them.
"I think Toure attacked me but the referee showed me the red card. I am really sorry for what happened.
"The referee had already given them a free-kick so why did he attack me? I don't know - I don't have a clue about it.
"I didn't touch him, I kept my hands down. But he didn't punch me. All I knew was that he attacked me. We didn't fight - it wasn't a serious fight but I had to defend myself.
"I have had two red cards this season - one of them I deserved but not this one."
Following Chelsea's 2-1 victory over their rivals, Lampard - who lifted the trophy with John Terry hospitalised following an injury - insisted that the scuffle was evidence of both clubs' desire to win the trophy.
"I don't know the first incident, but then they got up straight away and wanted to have a row with our players," Lampard told Sky Sports.
"I went over and tried to sort it out but I got involved.
"You might say it is disappointing but when you play a cup final at this level and people moan about not wanting to win this cup, it shows how much people wanted to win this cup."
Lampard lifted the trophy before Terry was discharged from hospital to make a belated appearance for the subsequent celebrations, and Chelsea's vice-captain admitted the side were determined to win for their stricken skipper.
"That was for John," said Lampard.
"John going off like that, he would have been desperate to win the game and we have done it for him."