Sport Premier League

Thursday 28 August 2014

Mourinho fumes at referee as title hopes take huge hit

Dion Fanning

Published 20/04/2014 | 02:30

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho needed only 138 seconds to make his points last night. His side had lost at home to the team at the bottom of the league, but he was not in the press room to acknowledge the weaknesses of his own side. Liverpool's on-loan striker Fabio Borini scored the winning goal from the penalty spot and there was a lot to talk about. Mourinho had skipped the previous three press conferences and he would take no questions. This is all he said:

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"Just to say I will not wait for your questions. I'm so sorry about it. But in three or four points I can say everything I can say so I won't waste time with the questions you will ask me. We stick with four quick points because I will just say this whatever you asked.

The first is to congratulate my players. They did everything they could, playing from the first minute to the last seconds, and deserved that. Sometimes we praise the players when we win. I think it's fair to praise my players after the defeat.

"Secondly, congratulations to Sunderland. It doesn't matter how, why or in which way they won, they won. They won three fantastic points. I think it's also fair to congratulate them.

"Third point, I want to congratulate again Mike Dean. I think his performance was unbelievable and I think when referees have unbelievable performances, I think it's fair that as managers we give them praise. So, fantastic performance. He came here with one objective. To make a fantastic performance. And he did that.

"And fourth, congratulations also to Mike Riley, the referees' boss. What they are doing through the whole season is fantastic, especially in the last couple of months, and in teams involved in the title race. Absolutely fantastic. I also congratulate Mr Riley."

With those vague hints of conspiracy and intent, he was gone. Mike Dean had a bad game – he ignored one clear Chelsea penalty and awarded a harsh one against them, something even Gus Poyet conceded. "I've watched it on the computer and I can understand why we're talking about it. I never ever would expect to get a penalty here. Ever. It could be the key moment for the title.

Sunderland are still alive in the fight against relegation, a fight that Poyet described as "incredible, heart-breaking, difficult".

His side have had a week which has given them hope in the most unlikely fashion. They drew a game they should have won at the Etihad and snatched an unlikely victory at Stamford Bridge. "If we don't stay up now it will be a shame, really," Poyet said. "Wednesday, 5pm, we were dead and then we got a point against City and should have been there. We got three here, which offered a great opportunity." Next weekend's game at Cardiff has become critical.

Dean had also failed to send off Chelsea's Ramires for an elbow but Ramires can expect a ban which may bring his season to an end. Chelsea have more important problems before next weekend's game at Anfield. Mourinho has played down Chelsea's title chances but they had more of a chance than Liverpool at the beginning of the season. Yesterday it appeared as if there had been a decisive shift. As a Sunderland official left Stamford Bridge last night, she received a text. It was from Liverpool's Jordan Henderson who had joined Sunderland as a boy. His two teams had received an unexpected boost and his mood had lifted. Last night Mourinho's mood seemed as dark as it was during his worst days at Real Madrid, as dark as it always is when he is close to failure.

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