Ashley Cole did not start fracas

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole did not taunt Manchester City players in the Stamford Bridge tunnel after his side’s victory between the teams on Monday, according to the London club.

Goals from Raul Meireles and Frank Lampard cancelled out Mario Balotelli’s opener to keep The Blues in the hunt for the Premier League title, and close the gap between themselves and the leaders to seven points.

Etihad Stadium boss Roberto Mancini had suggested that the England full back was ungracious in victory on Monday night, and may have teased the defeated team straight after the game, causing a fracas in the tunnel.

Despite the Italian coach’s comments, Chelsea have released a statement defending Cole.

“Contrary to reports, Ashley Cole did not say anything to the opposition in the tunnel after Monday’s game,” Chelsea’s official website states.

“Ashley has huge respect for the players and staff at Manchester City, many of whom he knows personally and calls friends.”

Chelsea travel to take on Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday, and will look to build on their win over City earlier in the week.

By Gareth McKnight