A clearly furious Jose Mourinho ‘congratulated’ Mike Dean and Mike Riley after Chelsea’s controversial – and potentially costly – 2-1 home defeat against bottom side Sunderland.
Rather than answer questions at the post-match press conference, Blues boss Mourinho instead chose to make four brief points, which included sarcastic references to match referee Dean as well as Riley, who is the general manager of Premier League officials.
Dean angered Mourinho and the Stamford Bridge faithful with a number of key decisions during Chelsea’s first home league defeat under the Portuguese.
Penalty appeals were waved away, a number of challenges went unpunished, and Fabio Borini scored a late Sunderland winner from the penalty spot after Cesar Azpilicueta was adjudged to have fouled Jozy Altidore.
Mourinho then had to restrain assistant coach Rui Faria, who tried to confront Dean and was sent to the stands to watch the final stages.
“The first point, congratulations to my players. They fought and played from the first until the last second,” said Mourinho.
“The second, congratulations to Sunderland. It doesn’t matter how or why or which way they won, it is three fantastic points for them.
“Third point, I want to congratulate again; this time Mike Dean. His performance was unbelievable. He came here with one objective, to make a fantastic performance, and he did that.
“Congratulations to Mike Riley, the referees’ boss. What they are doing the whole season, especially in the last couple of months, and especially in matches with teams involved in the title race, is fantastic.”
Mourinho, previously unbeaten in 77 home league games as Chelsea manager, then left the room.
The result was a major blow to second-placed Chelsea title chances.
It meant Liverpool, who host the Blues in a vital match next weekend, remained top of the table and will move five points clear of Mourinho’s team if they beat struggling Norwich on Sunday.