Chelsea lodge plaint

Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg could find himself in hot water after Chelsea lodged an official complaint about him using "inappropriate language" to two of their players in a tumultuous 2-3 defeat by Manchester United on Sunday.

Leaders Chelsea's unbeaten start to the Premier League season came to an end when Javier Hernandez scored a dubious-looking 75th minute winner for United after Clattenburg had shown red cards to Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres in quick succession in the final half hour.

"We have lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate with regards to inappropriate language used by the referee and directed at two of our players in two separate incidents," a club spokesman told reporters. "The match delegate will pass the complaint to the Football Association. We will make no further comment at this time."

The club would not name the players in question or of what nature the remarks were, but the spokesman refused to deny that John Obi Mikel had visited the referee's room after the game.

Clattenburg made no comment but the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMO), which manages top English referees, said in a statement reported by media that the allegations are "being treated with the utmost seriousness".

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