John Terry has admitted he told referee Phil Dowd to send off Swansea defender Chico Flores during Chelsea's 1-0 Premier League victory at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
Flores, 27, was booked after 13 minutes for a rash challenge on Willian, and then brought down Andre Schuerrle on the edge of the penalty area less than two minutes later, with match official Dowd taking his time before deciding to issue the Spanish defender with a second yellow card.
Jose Mourinho's side went on to dominate proceedings and eventually found a winner through Demba Ba 22 minutes from the end to keep their title hopes alive -- and Terry believes the referee made the correct call on Flores regardless of how much time was left in the game.
According to The Guardian, Terry said: "I just said, 'It's a second yellow for me'. [Dowd] gave him one a couple minutes before on the halfway line and that one just outside the box is probably even more a yellow than the other one.
"Fair play to Phil, the ref, it was a big decision to make and I thought he made the right one and credit goes to him for that.
"I'm speaking as a Chelsea player, but when we all sit back and look at it then it's definitely two yellows. It's simple as that. If it's a minute, two, five minutes into the game and it is a yellow or red card then it doesn't matter. Thankfully we managed to take advantage."
Swansea interim manager Garry Monk was disappointed with the decision to send Flores off, and believes Chelsea's bench staff -- who surrounded the fourth official at the time -- and Chelsea's players on the pitch put pressure on the officials to dismiss the centre-back.
“By the letter of the law I guess it's a red card. If we go by the letter of the law every week then you'd have seven or eight players sent off in every game," he said. "What can I do? I can't complain.
“The disappointing thing was that he [Dowd] looked like he signalled straight away 'no' -- as if to signal it didn't warrant another yellow.
"Then their bench and manager surrounds the fourth official and their players surround the referee and then the red card comes later on. It makes you wonder, doesn't it?
“But I know Phil, and he is an honest guy. I don't think he responded to the pressure. If he says it was him giving himself time, then it is him giving himself time. But the circumstances make it strange.
"It's not great when people are asking for the ref to dish out a red card, but what can you do. It happens, and you trust that the ref was strong enough to deal with all that.''
Assessing Flores' two cautions, Monk said: “I'm not disappointed in him, but he is an experienced pro and he should have used that experience in that situation. We have all been in that situation where you have been booked, and especially if it's early on, you are then treading on a tightrope for the rest of the game. The harshest punishment is getting sent off and Chico got sent off.''
Mourinho handed his postmatch news conference duties to assistant coach Steve Holland, who said of the decision: “In my opinion, the two yellow card decisions were crystal clear. I have seen them both back, and I think the referee was quite clearly correct on both counts. I think the referee made the decision, and he made the decision correctly.
"As to who he speaks to and how long he takes over the decision, you would have to ask him how that works. For sure, ultimately he made the right decision.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this article.