Jose Mourinho offers mock praise to officials after Chelsea defeat
Manager congratulates referees’ boss Mike Riley for keeping title race alive
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho helps hold back assistant coach Rui Faria (centre) after he was sent off by referee Mike Dean during their Premier League match against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters
Jose Mourinho oozed irony as he hailed referee Mike Dean and referees’ boss Mike Riley for “unbelievable” performances in the wake of Chelsea’s Premier League title-threatening 2-1 home defeat to Sunderland.
The canny Chelsea boss refused to field questions from the media in the wake of his first-ever home defeat in the Premier League.
Mourinho instead offered “four quick points” in reaction to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge loss, where goals from Conor Wickham and Fabio Borini sunk the Blues.
Basement club Sunderland followed up their 2-2 midweek draw at Manchester City with a stubborn victory in west London, Wickham firing his third goal of the week.
Defeat clearly left Chelsea boss Mourinho fuming with the award of the pivotal Borini penalty, but keen to veil his rebukes in the form of false praise.
Mourinho sat out three opportunities to meet the press before Saturday’s league defeat, while the disciplinary battles continue over him entering the field of play in the April 15th Aston Villa clash.
The Portuguese manager lost an appeal against the FA charge and Chelsea have elected to contest that decision as a club, though Mourinho will not have involvement in any further hearings.
The 51-year-old Chelsea boss might be keen to avoid controversy while that disciplinary issue lingers, but he still made his feelings clear, albeit in roundabout fashion.
“I will not wait for your questions, I’m so sorry about it,” said Mourinho. “But in four quick points I can say everything I want to say, so we are not going to waste time, because every question you can ask me I will answer exactly the same way.
“So we stick with four quick points. The first point is to congratulate my players, they did everything they could, they fought, they played from the first to the last second. And I think they deserve that.
“Sometimes we praise the players when we win, I think it’s fair to praise my players after a defeat.
“Secondly, congratulations to Sunderland, it doesn’t matter how or why, or in which way they won, but they won, they won the three points, and it’s three fantastic points for them. So I think it’s also fair to congratulate them.
“The third point, I want to congratulate again, but this time is Mike Dean.
“I think his performance was unbelievable, and I think when referees they have unbelievable performances I think it’s fair also that managers we give them this.
“So fantastic performance, he came here with one objective, the objective of making a fantastic performance and he did that.
“And fourth, I think it’s also fair, congratulations to Mike Riley, because he’s the referees’ boss, and what they are doing during the whole season is fantastic, especially in the last couple of months, especially in matches involving the teams that were in the title race, it’s absolutely fantastic.
“And I also congratulate Mr Mike Riley, thank you.”
Chelsea’s defeat hands the league title initiative to Liverpool, who can scramble five points clear of the Blues at the top of the table with victory at Norwich on Sunday.
Chelsea assistant coach Rui Faria was dismissed by referee Dean for overzealous abuse of fourth official Philip Dowd during the second half.
Faria had to be pulled back from Dowd by Mourinho, who at one point grabbed his assistant’s hair.
Chelsea’s Portuguese backroom staff member was clearly incensed by the decision to award a penalty against Cesar Azpilicueta for felling Jozy Altidore.
Sunderland striker Borini’s cool finish sealed a priceless victory for the Black Cats, who retain hope of beating relegation.
Former Chelsea midfielder Poyet believes the “special” victory can inspire Sunderland to avoid the drop, admitting Borini’s penalty could be the title race’s “key moment”.
“At five o’clock on Wednesday we were dead, then we got a point against Manchester City, now we have three here, and now we have a chance,” said Poyet.
“We tend to perform against the top teams, and this is nice, and pretty special for me as well.
“If we don’t stay up now it would be a shame.
“I never, ever would have expected to get a penalty here, but I think it was fair.
“I would have reacted the same (as Mourinho) if it was against my team; it could be the key moment for the title.
“But I understand, if it was against me and I lost a penalty I would be fuming for sure.”