Jose Mourinho gave a post-match briefing seemingly laced with sarcasm after Chelsea suffered a shock 2-1 Premier League loss to Sunderland.
Table-topping Liverpool can go five points clear of Chelsea with a win at Norwich City tomorrow, meaning Brendan Rodgers’ team would hold all the aces ahead of next weekend’s crunch clash between the teams at Anfield.
Samuel Eto’o gave Chelsea a 12th-minute lead at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but Connor Wickham hauled bottom-placed Sunderland level shortly after.
Eto’o and Demba Ba were guilty of missing chances before referee Mike Dean adjudged Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta to have fouled Jozy Altidore in the area with eight minutes remaining.
Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini duly converted from the spot and, parroting lines from a tempestuous and brief appearance on Sky Sports after the final whistle, Mourinho went on to offer “congratulations” to Dean and Mike Riley – the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, which is responsible for appointing referees to Premier League matches.
“I will not wait for questions,” Mourinho began after seeing his 77-match unbeaten run in home league games at Stamford Bridge come to an end.
“I’m so sorry about it but in a quick four points I can say everything that 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 and played from the first to the last second.
“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.
“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 it is Mike Dean.
“His performance was unbelievable and I think when referees they have unbelievable performances I think it is fair also that as managers we give them this.
“He came here with one objective – the objective of a fantastic performance and he did that.
“Fourth, I think it is also fair – congratulations to Mike Riley because he is the referee’s 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 is absolutely fantastic so I congratulate Mr Mike Riley. Thank you.”
Mourinho was sent to the stands by referee Chris Foy after entering the field of play during Chelsea’s 1-0 loss at Aston Villa last month and was subsequently fined £8,000 by the Football Association for his conduct.