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Blues question lack of penalties


Eden Hazard, centre, scored a penalty for Chelsea against Arsenal in October

Eden Hazard, centre, scored a penalty for Chelsea against Arsenal in October

Eden Hazard, centre, scored a penalty for Chelsea against Arsenal in October

Chelsea have addressed the "abnormally low" number of penalties they have received this season in apparent support of Jose Mourinho's complaints of a "clear campaign" against the Blues.

Mourinho was fined £25,000 for the comment made after the December 28 draw at Southampton, when he felt Cesc Fabregas was denied a spot kick and the midfielder was instead booked for diving.

On Sunday, following the Premier League leaders' 1-1 draw at home to the Saints, Mourinho was asked if Chelsea would be awarded another penalty this term.

"It's a question," Mourinho said.

The response came after Mourinho had felt Nemanja Matic was harshly penalised in Southampton being awarded a penalty, while Branislav Ivanovic had been denied a spot kick at the other end following a trip by Dusan Tadic.

Chelsea's official website on Wednesday wrote an article about the Blues receiving just two Premier League penalties this season after 28 games.

The article, headlined 'Penalty puzzle', read: "Historically, this figure seems abnormally low.

"The most recent was four-and-a-half months ago."

The article makes comparisons with recent seasons, including seven awarded to the Blues last term, when they finished third, and 12 in the 2009-10 season, the last time they were champions.

It added: "This season's tally of two unquestionably bucks the recent trend.

"It could be that when teams have played the league leaders they have been particularly careful inside their own area.

"We all have plenty of recollections suggesting this is not the case however."

The article then identifies examples when Chelsea might have been awarded spot-kicks, but were not.

"From the first half of our very first league game, at Burnley, a number of key penalty-box decisions have not gone our way, Diego Costa the victim that evening after being felled trying to round the keeper," the story read.

Mourinho on Sunday bit his tongue on the Ivanovic incident, but made his feelings clear.

Put to him that Ivanovic had fallen theatrically, dissuading referee Mike Dean from pointing to the spot, Mourinho deferred to his media officer sitting alongside, saying: "You have to control me, if not..."

Without implicating their boss, Chelsea's article may place scrutiny on Michael Oliver, the referee for Sunday's match at Hull.

PA Media