Its become almost a weekly event now, Jose Mourinho coming out after Chelsea games and having something to give out about regarding the refereeing performances, from things as simple as penalties not given to the FA having an agenda against his team Mourinho very rarely stays quiet. Yesterday after Chelsea’s one all draw with Burnley at Stamford Bridge the Portuguese manager refused to directly criticise the referee but did point out a few moments he felt changed the game and its hard to disagree with him on this occasion.
In Mourinho’s post match interview he pointed out four points in the game he felt cost the league leaders all three points. The first was a penalty claim, a Branislav Ivanovic shot flew off the outstretched arm of Michael Kightly inside the box with the referee Martin Atkinson in full view but he decided not to award the penalty. The next incident involved Ashley Barnes who led with his foot in an aerial duel with Ivanovic, the challenge probably warranted a yellow with Mourinho being a bit over the top asking for a red, nonetheless Barnes got away with nothing although that may be down to the silly antics of Ivanovic who rolled on the floor three times before sprinting to the referee to complain.
Next up in Mourinho’s list of complaints was another penalty claim, this time Diego Costa surged into the box and was clearly tripped and pushed but once again Atkinson waved play on which was greeted by the laughter of Mourinho on the sideline. The final complaint Mourinho had to make was the one he feels most aggrieved about which was the Matic sending off. Ashley Barnes, who Mourinho felt should have been off at this stage, came in with a horrible challenge on Nemanja Matic bending his leg and nearly causing a serious injury, Matic who was luckily ok after the horror challenge then got up and shoved Barnes to the ground and was subsequently sent off. Matic will have no complaints about his card but the fact Ashley Barnes got away with what Mourinho described as a “leg breaker” without a card was astonishing. Lets not forget Burnley themselves had a penalty claim turned down but it was in no way as clearcut as the Chelsea appeals.
Mourinho today appeared on Goals on Sunday where he outlined the moments he felt the referee was wrong and was visibly disgusted with how the Burnley game unfolded. This of course is not the first time Mourinho has gone on a rant about refereeing, think back to just December when he publicly criticised a refereeing decision to give Fabregas a yellow card for diving against Southampton when he was clearly fouled inside the box and was later fined £25000.
On this occasion however there is no doubting that Mourinho is right to be upset over Martin Atkinson’s performance, some of the incidents he missed were baffling and he in truth cost Chelsea the game. To say theres an agenda against Chelsea is maybe a bit off the mark, Mourinho has said he believes instead of a five point gap at the top it should be twelve if the games were fair. Twelve points may be a stretch but its for certain that if yesterdays game was refereed properly Chelsea would still be seven points clear of second place Manchester City.
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