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Jose Mourinho has claimed Chelsea are the victim of a diving campaign which is costing them Premier League points.

The table-topping west Londoners saw a run of five successive wins in all competitions come to an end yesterday when Southampton held firm to secure a point.

Sadio Mane and Eden Hazard scored in an entertaining 1-1 draw at St Mary's, where Mourinho was adamant they should have had a potentially match-defining penalty early in the second half when Cesc Fabregas went down under pressure from Matt Targett.

Instead of a spot-kick, however, referee Anthony Taylor deemed it a dive and booked the infuriated Spanish midfielder - part of a what Mourinho believes is a growing movement against his side.

"In other countries where I worked before, tomorrow in the sports papers it would be a front-page scandal because it is a scandal," the Chelsea boss said.

"I think it is a scandal because it is not a small penalty - it is a penalty like Big Ben.

"In this country - and I am happy with that, more than happy with that - we will just say that it was a big mistake with a big influence in the result.

"I am happy that it is this way, with respect for the referee. He made a big mistake like I make, like the players make sometimes."

Chelsea have found themselves at the heart of the simulation debate in recent weeks, with Diego Costa and Willian booked for supposedly taking a tumble in the win against Hull.

After that match Steve Bruce compared a Gary Cahill dive as "like something out of Swan Lake" and West Ham manager Sam Allardyce accused Branislav Ivanovic of going down "looking for a penalty" on St Stephen's Day.

Asked if the Cahill and Ivanovic incidents had influenced referees, Mourinho retorted: "They are not incidents, they are not incidents.

"Of course [it has influenced the referee]. That's a campaign, that's a clear campaign.

"People, pundits, commentators, coaches from other teams - they react with Chelsea in a way they don't react to other teams.

"They put lots of pressure on the referee and the referee makes a mistake like this. We lose two points, Fabregas earns a yellow card.

"The double punishment is something unbelievable," Mourinho said.

"Anthony [should go to a] screen, see that he has made a mistake - he is a good guy, an honest guy.

"He writes 'I made a mistake, let's clean the yellow card for Cesc'. It should be a simple process."

3see pages 60-61


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