Jose Mourinho adamant there are no divers at Chelsea
Denial comes after Ramires becomes second Blues player in a week booked for simulation
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho denies there are divers in his side. Photograph: Chris Ison/PA Wire.
Chelsea claimed a routine 2-0 FA Cup win at Derby to set up a fourth-round tie at home to Stoke, with goals from John Obi Mikel and Oscar sandwiching a booking for Ramires from referee Andre Marriner.
Mourinho refused to condemn Ramires, who followed compatriot Oscar into being booked for diving.
The Chelsea boss on Friday claimed that “there are no divers at Chelsea” following Oscar’s booking in the New Year’s Day win at Southampton and told observers to look elsewhere for serial offenders following the Derby success.
“The referees are attacking it. The manager supports the referees. I think we are doing well. Let’s see if the others do the same as us.
“In other clubs there are really divers and they are not booked. Players are doing that every weekend. Sit in front of the television and you will find them.”
Referee Marriner had in November controversially awarded Chelsea a penalty in the home draw with West Brom which Eden Hazard converted to preserve Mourinho’s unbeaten Premier League home record. There was no direct impact on the result on this occasion.
Mourinho plans to speak to Ramires about the incident and believes diving is being outlawed in England, but he is concerned about continental competition.
“Marriner was so close so if he made that decision it’s because he’s right,” Mourinho added. “I know that English teams will be punished in European competitions because in this country, and well, we are all fighting against it.
Chelsea’s 16th successive third-round triumph - their last loss at this stage was in 1998 against Manchester United - proved challenging. But Mikel headed in his fourth Chelsea goal on his 300th appearance - after ending a near-seven year drought in September with his first Premier League goal against Fulham - for his third FA Cup strike.
Mourinho said: “It was important for us, because we were dominating and dominating, creating and creating, but the goal was not arriving. It was like the winning goal.”
Oscar’s goal sealed victory, but Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant might have done better with the shot at his near post.
Derby’s focus now returns to their bid for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.
Rams boss Steve McClaren said: “(I) couldn’t be more proud of them. We played against one of the best teams, not just in the Premier League, but in Europe.
“Started the game well, finished the game well, just that five-minute spell, with the two goals, were the disappointment of the afternoon.”