Sunderland inflicted a first Premier League home loss on a Jose Mourinho-led Chelsea side, courtesy of a controversial Fabio Borini’s penalty.
The former Chelsea player, on loan with the ‘Black Cats’ from leaders Liverpool, dented Chelsea’s title ambition, as the ‘Reds’ moved five points clear of the ‘Blues’ with the win over Norwich City on Sunday.
Mourinho’s beaten Stamford Bridge run spans over his two spells in charge of the club in 78 games, however; it was his coaching staff who refused to belly referee Mike Dean’s penalty decision, spotted by the assistant, and the Portuguese boss’ post-match briefing sounded like questioning the authority of the Wiral officer.
“Just to say I will not wait for your questions,” Mourinho’s opening remark for his 2 hours 20 minutes post-game spin, says.
“I’m so sorry about that but, in three or four points, I can say everything I can say, so I won’t waste time with the questions you will ask me. We stick with four quick points because I will just say this whatever you asked.”
Chelsea looked like mounting pressure on Liverpool when Samuel Eto’O converted his ninth league goal of the season from a corner.
Connor Wickham followed up Marcos Alonso’s shot to equalise and with the hosts missing a host of chances, Cesar Azpilicueta slid in to try to challenge Jozy Altidore but ended up fouling the American international.
Borini stepped up to convert from 12 yards, infuriating Mourinho’s assistant Rui faria, who threatened to enter the pitch to berate the match official but was held back by the Portuguese boss, other members of his coaching staff and fourth official Phil Dowd.
Faria watched the closing stages of the encounter from the stands, after being sent out of the dugout.
“The first is to congratulate my players. They did everything they could, playing from the first minute to the last seconds, and deserved that. Sometimes we praise the players when we win. I think it’s fair to praise my players after the defeat. Secondly, congratulations to Sunderland. It doesn’t matter how, why or in which way they won, they won. They won three fantastic points. I think it’s also fair to congratulate them,” he added.
Several questionable decisions became the highlights of the encounter; Marcos Alonso’s handling of the ball in front of goal, Sebastian Larsson shoving off Ramires with his shoulder, before an angry Ramires elbowed Larsson, all in the first-half.
The highpoint was the penalty decision in the closing ten minutes, as Azpliquerta’s slip let in Altidore down the right.
Mourinho continued: “Third point, I want to congratulate again Mike Dean. I think his performance was unbelievable and I think when referees have unbelievable performances, I think it’s fair that as managers we give them praise. So, fantastic performance. He came here with one objective. To make a fantastic performance. And he did that. And, fourth, congratulations also to Mike Riley, the referees’ boss. What they are doing through the whole season is fantastic, especially in the last couple of months, and in teams involved in the title race. Absolutely fantastic. I also congratulate Mr Riley.”
Chelsea will visit Anfield next Sunday but do not have their faith in their own hands now.
“We kept going, believing, and waiting for our time. We needed to take advantage and we did today. Overall, special. Very special for us … And Fabio? Everyone will be talking about Fabio now because he’s a Liverpool player. He’ll have a few texts from friends at Liverpool, for sure,” stressed Mourinho.