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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 16:24 GMT
Mutu condemns Mihajlovic
Adrian Mutu (left) and Sinisa Mihajlovic clashed on several occasions
Adrian Mutu has accused Lazio's Sinisa Mihajlovic of "losing his mind" for spitting at the Chelsea striker in their Champions League tussle.

The incident happened during Chelsea's 4-0 win in Italy on Tuesday and Mihajlovic now faces a Uefa disciplinary investigation.

Mihajlovic spat in Mutu's face and also appeared to kick him while he was lying on the ground.

"Mihajlovic should stop playing mind games as he lost those as well as the match," Mutu told the Evening Standard newspaper.

"He should concentrate on football as he needs to improve his game.

"It was an awful insult to be spat at, but I didn't react as I put the team before any personal vendetta.

"It had the opposite effect though, as he got sent off later on. He lost his mind and didn't play well."

I'm very sorry as Mihajlovic is a very nice man
Lazio coach Roberto Mancini

Mihajlovic's actions are not without predecent - Celta Vigo midfielder Peter Luccin was handed a four-match ban for a similar offence in a Uefa Cup match last season.

But despite comdemning the Serb, Mutu does not believe he should face further disciplinary action.

"I am not someone who cries about these things. These things happen on the pitch. This is a man's game.

"I don't think he should be punished or that further action should be taken," added Mutu.

A Uefa spokesman said they were waiting for the match report from referee Valentin Ivanov and would deal with the spitting allegations at a hearing on 7 November.

Both incidents went unpunished by the referee, but were clearly caught by television cameras before Mihajlovic was sent-off for two fouls on Damien Duff in the second half.

Provocation

Lazio coach Roberto Mancini apologised for Mihajlovic's behaviour after the match but said the defender could have been provoked.

"I'm very sorry as he's a very nice man who doesn't normally do that sort of thing." said Mancini.

"Unfortunately, I didn't really see what happened but I have heard that perhaps Mutu first used his elbow.

"If, however, Sinisa then spat at him then it is a very serious thing and he will pay for it, I'm sure."

Lazio president Ugo Longo added: "Mihajlovic was nervous. I am saddened for what has happened because he is usually a very correct and loyal player."

Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri was understandably delighted with his team's performance in Rome, but felt Mihajlovic's dismissal was crucial.

"The red card maybe changed things. From that point on it became more and more difficult for them to get back into the match," said Ranieri.

"They started to make trivial mistakes, messing up passes that normally they would make easily. They seemed nervous, but we were lucky to take our chances so well.

"But Lazio didn't play so badly, they created chances and had shots on goal, which Carlo Cudicini did very well to save."






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Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
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