'It's a penalty. The player knew it, the ref did not give it'
Monday 15 December 2008
Luiz Felipe Scolari launched another attack on English refereeing standards when he pointed out yesterday that his side had not yet been awarded a penalty in the Premier League this season.
The Chelsea manager was angered by the referee Mike Riley failing to give Frank Lampard a penalty after a late trip on him by Lucas Neill in the West Ham area.
Scolari had criticised Mike Dean for allowing Robin van Persie's offside goal to stand in the defeat to Arsenal this month and once again he had a case this time when he said that Lampard had been fouled. Even Neill himself admitted "there was contact" in his post-match interview.
"It's a penalty – if you look on TV it is a penalty," Scolari said. "The player who touches Lampard, only touched and moved his foot [away]. He knew he made that touch, but the referee did not give it. Finished, it's not a penalty. I think it was a penalty. Don't forget that I haven't had a penalty in this competition [Premier League] until now. Most clubs have had three, four, five, six penalties but with my players it's never a penalty."
Scolari conceded that even with Chelsea second in the Premier League, and one point off the leaders Liverpool, the home fans were justified in voicing their disapproval at the performance at the final whistle.
"If I think about the competition and the games that we have lost points in here, I agree with the fans," he said. "But they need to understand the players try to do their best every time. They don't want to draw. They don't want to lose. But sometimes, we don't have quality for win. We need to accept, but I understand the fans."
The Chelsea manager said that he was disappointed by the performance of his strikers, particularly in the second half when he played Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Joe Cole in a line.
"In the second half after our goal, we tried to put on pressure and we opened our midfield – in that time, we had three strikers in a line. That line did not receive the ball. I need to train them more and the players need to understand that those three players are not fixed there, [they must] come back and work without the ball.
"It's important for us to win at home, we play better away from home. We need to win one, two, three games here and after that maybe we will play the same way as we did in the last five or 10 years.
"Until now, all the teams come to Stamford Bridge, they sit back 40 metres and sometimes my players need to improve, they need to dribble, they need to try something different."
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