Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was coy with his comments following yesterday’s controversial 1-1 draw with Burnley. During his post-match interviews, the Portuguese tactician would only comment on “four incidents” which took place during minutes 30, 33, 43 and 69 in Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge.
But Mourinho apparently went home, had a good night sleep and decided he wanted to discuss the incidents from yesterday’s match – as well as other recent events – in front of television cameras.
By his request, the Chelsea manager sat in with Sky Sports Goals on Sunday to have his thoughts made public regarding referee Martin Atkinson’s decisions during yesterday’s game.
“At half-time, Burnley should be playing with 10 men and Chelsea should have two penalties,” Mourinho told Goals on Sunday. “Normally, we win 3-0 or let’s put in the possibility of missing one of the penalties – we win 2-0 and play against 10 men. The reality is that in the end, we play with 10 men and lost two points.”
Mourinho is referring to first half incidents which saw Ashley Barnes kick-out at Branislav Ivanovic during a challenge for an aerial header, as well as two unanswered penalty claims.
The first penalty incident appears to be a clear-cut handball against Michael Kightly in the 34th minute. The second came when Jason Shackell barged over Diego Costa in the 44th minute.
But the event that has made the most news over the past 24 hours came during the 70th minute when Barnes committed a clear studs-up foul on Nemanja Matic that went unnoticed by referee Atkinson. What followed was the Chelsea midfielder chasing down the Burnley forward and pushing him over.
Matic was rightly shown a straight red-card for his actions, but Barnes went unpunished.
“I can’t find the words to describe what that player (Ashley Barnes) did,” Mourinho explained. “I can clearly understand that football is about emotions and sometimes you lose emotions.”
“What could be the consequence of his push for the other player? Nothing. The consequence for Matic could be the end of his career.”
Though it was clear Mourinho was being cautious with his criticism of the match official, over the course of the interview the Chelsea boss let it be known that the referee did not perform to his highest level yesterday.
After labeling Atkinson one of the best officials in England – and thus one of the top referees in Europe – Mourinho went on to say: “The best players in the world can make mistakes. This gentlemen is one of the top referees in European football. He can also make mistakes. He made important mistakes yesterday.”
Mourinho went on to call for the introduction of more technology into the game in order to assist match officials.
“If the referee can’t see a penalty three meters in front of him, an official in front of a screen can’t miss it.”
“If we want to protect the integrity of the referee and believe that the mistake is the consequence of misinterpretation or a bad position, I think technology can help.”
While Mourinho made excellent points over the course of the television program, when the Chelsea boss was asked whether decisions like yesterday eventually balance out over the course of the season, he continued with his recent claims that there is a bias towards his club.
“If you are asking me about the five points difference [between Chelsea and Manchester City at the top of the BPL table], I would say if we’re in a normal situation where mistakes are part of the game at this point we are talking about the points at Tottenham, the points at Southampton and we would be 12 points ahead.”
Earlier in the interview, Mourinho also called out the media – in particular Sky Sports – for inflaming the situation that led to striker Diego Costa being suspended for three matches following Chelsea’s League Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool.
The manager was not happy with the post-match analysis which labeled the striker’s controversial performance during that contest as “Costa’s crimes”. Mourinho believes that those words, and the ensuing analysis, planted the seed in the public’s mind that the player’s actions were premeditated and deserving of retroactive punishment.
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