Belfast Telegraph

Furious Jose Mourinho says there's a campaign against Chelsea

By Tim Pitt-Brooke

Jose Mourinho attacked the "scandal" of Cesc Fabregas not being awarded a penalty against Southampton, claiming that the incident was part of a wider "campaign" against his team.

The Premier League leaders drew 1-1 at St Mary's but could have had a penalty when Fabregas was tripped by Matt Targett in the second half, only for referee Anthony Taylor to book the Chelsea player for simulation.

Mourinho was furious with the decision but also with what he saw as excessive scrutiny of his players' conduct which was leading to "bad yellow cards" for diving.

"In other countries where I worked before, tomorrow in the sports papers it would be front-page scandal because it certainlyh is a scandal," Mourinho said.

"I think it is a scandal because it is not a small penalty, it is a penalty like Big Ben."

Mourinho said that it was a "big mistake" from Taylor, who "assumed" rather than saw the incident.

He said the mistake stemmed from what he described as the ongoing "campaign" against his team on matters of diving and penalties.

"That's a campaign, that's a clear campaign," he said. "People, pundits, commentators, coaches from other teams, they react with Chelsea in a way they don't react to other teams.

"In the first match, Diego Costa got a yellow when it should have been a penalty and a red card at Burnley. A few months later, we lose two points in a match where the penalty is clear and Fabregas gets a yellow card."

Mourinho said recent criticism of Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill for going down easily had affected his team.

"For example, in the game against Hull, do you think the most important thing in the game was Cahill or Felipe Luis almost getting a broken leg?

"After West Ham, Enner Valencia made a very bad dive at the end of the game and Sam Allardyce is talking about Ivanovic. Why? Luis and Eden Hazard could be in hospital with broken legs and you are speaking about Cahill.

"Today, penalty, points. No penalty, no points."

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman understood the anger of his former Barcelona colleague, but philosophically concluded "it's part of football".

"If the referee thinks it's simulation then you have to give the player a yellow card, but you will have the decision if it's simulation or really a fault in the box," he said.

"I have to watch that moment in the game because maybe for Chelsea that was an important moment to win the game."

It was a moment which allowed Saints to show an impressive resilience, denying the Blues a winner which at times seemed imminent.

"Of course, one point against Chelsea is maybe three points against another opponent," Koeman said.

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