Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was not especially impressed with the referee’s performance during the match against Sunderland on Saturday:
“I just want to say four things and I’m sorry because if you ask me more questions, I’ll repeat exactly the same thing.”
“Congratulations to my players because they gave what they have and what they don’t have.
“Congratulations to Sunderland, because they won.
“Congratulations to Mike Dean, because he made a fantastic performance.
“And congratulations to Mike Riley, because what they did during the season was fantastic for the way the championship is going.
“Congratulations to all of them – and I have nothing more to say.”
You are probably think you can imagine the eye-rolling and sarcasm in Mourinho’s voice, but you’re probably not even half-way there. It’s an impressive performance.
In fairness, the referee did not have a great day. The winning penalty awarded to Sunderland was probably not even a foul. Chelsea probably deserved a penalty earlier in the match. On the other hand, Samuel Eto’o clearly held and swung his defender away when he scored the opening goal, and somehow, the ref somehow missed this bit of brilliance by Chelsea’s Ramires.
Of course, I don’t remember The Special One* being quite that upset at the referee’s performance in the match against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. The referee had a horrible game. Samuel Eto’o spiked Liverpool’s Jordsen Henderson in the knee long after the ball had gone. Nothing was called, but even Eto’o admitted after the match he should have been red-carded. John Terry mugged Luis Suarez in the penalty box and got away with. Oh, and near the end of the match, Eto’o flew in and hip-checked Suarez into the ground in the penalty area. Chelsea were probably slightly the better team, but if the ref had done his job, Liverpool would have had several penalties and Chelsea would have finished the match with eight or nine players.
I have some sympathy for Mourinho. The ref was genuinely awful during the Sunderland match. Based on the run of play, a draw would probably have been the right result instead of the loss. I hate seeing mistakes by the officials decide matches. So, if Chelsea lose the title by a point, they can feel robbed. I’d have a lot more sympathy if Mourinho had said something like “we were fortunate” after the Liverpool match, rather than complain about how the refs robbed his team. If Liverpool lose the title to Chelsea, they’re the team that can really feel aggrieved.
* Yes, that’s Jose Mourinho’s nickname. He gave it to himself.