Mourinho surprised Van Persie escaped sanction for elbowing incident

Chelsea boss contrasts treatment of United striker with that of Diego Costa

Jose Mourinho has expressed his surprise that Robin van Persie escaped sanction from the English Football Association for flinging an elbow at West Ham's James Tomkins and bemoaned the fact that incident has drawn less scrutiny than Diego Costa's clash with Emre Can.

Costa will serve the final match of a three-game ban at home to Everton tonight, having been deemed guilty of stamping on the Liverpool defender during last month’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg.

That charge infuriated Mourinho, who had claimed there had been a media-driven “campaign” – apparently led by Sky’s pundits in their coverage on the night of the semi-final – to have his striker punished with the Portuguese suggesting Van Persie’s offence had not been granted similar attention.

Media duties

The Chelsea manager, who had chosen to cancel pre and post-match media duties around the recent fixture with Manchester City in protest at the coverage, had been frosty when fronting his first press conference since the imposition of Costa’s ban last Friday.


Asked yesterday whether his mood had improved in the period since, he said: “I was in a good mood the other day. I just need a little bit more time to forget why my player was suspended, to understand why some people are punished and others aren’t. I need a little bit more time to process that.

“I paid lots of attention this weekend. The same people who suspended my player didn’t want to suspend another player this weekend, and a player could have been suspended this weekend and he wasn’t. I’m still processing that information.”

Pressed on who should have been banned, he explained: “Somebody who did this [gestures an elbow when Van Persie’s name was put to him] in the face of somebody, and nothing happened. I know that if it was one of mine?”

No scope

Van Persie's clash with Tomkins at Upton Park was witnessed by the referee, Mark Clattenburg, who chose to award the hosts a free-kick but took no further action against the Manchester United forward. There is therefore no scope for the FA to review the incident retrospectively.

Tomkins – who had his nose broken in a clash with Marouane Fellaini – subsequently claimed Van Persie's elbow had been deliberate and "malicious", and worthy of "a yellow at least".

The West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce, was equally critical in his assessment yesterday before his team's midweek game at Southampton.

“From a challenge point of view I thought it was pretty naughty because it was the old ‘have a little look to see where the defender is and then take him out’ basically. . .”

Mourinho's criticisms suggested double standards, with the Chelsea manager making reference to a retrospective ban handed to his midfielder, Ramires, for an elbow on Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson last season when Yaya Toure had escaped similar sanction after a clash with Norwich's Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

Chelsea have Cesc Fabregas available tonight after his recovery from a recent hamstring injury.

Guardian Service