BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 24: Frank Lampard , Branislav Ivanovic , Ramires and John Obi Mikel of Chelsea celebrate victory during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC at Camp Nou on April 24, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
A few days ago I speculated that Chelsea's performance against Barcelona seemed to imply that certain players at risk of suspension were not actually informed that they were on the verge of being banned for the final. As it turns out, that is indeed what happened - Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ashley Cole were not informed that they were a booking away from missing out on Munich:
I decided not to tell them [that they were at risk of being banned], because I wanted them to focus just on the game. I don't regret that, because it's important that you focus on your task, and what you have to do, and not be distracted by anything else.
-Interim manager Roberto di Matteo. Source: Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle.
I don't necessarily disagree with the strategy here - it got rest of the team to Munich, after all, but it's pretty sad that Ramires and Ivanovic picked up silly yellows that will rule them out of one of the most important games in Chelsea's history. For dissent. So yeah, I think di Matteo's plan might have backfired a little bit. On the plus side, it means that the two of them are unlikely to complain to the referee about anything ever again.
PS: And y'all told me I was crazy.