Chelsea could face FA punishment after Jose Mourinho makes post-match dig at referee

Liverpool handed title boost as Black Cats smash Mourinho’s 77-game home league run

Stamford Bridge

Liverpool can today take a huge step to winning a first championship in 24 years after Jose Mourinho lost his long unbeaten home record as well as his temper in another remarkable twist to this title race.

Victory at Norwich City will put Brendan Rodgers’ side five points clear at the top, after Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Sunderland saw the Portuguese suffer defeat at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 78 league games going back to 2004. That came as a consequence of a questionable Fabio Borini penalty, with referee Mike Dean judging Cesar Azpilicueta had taken down Jozy Altidore despite an apparent lack of contact.

Afterwards, Mourinho sarcastically described the official’s performance as “unbelievable” but also implicitly criticised the Professional Game Match Officials Board chief Mike Riley by mockingly saying their season has been “fantastic”.

Chelsea sources state that the manager’s ire goes back to March’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa, when he was sent off along with Willian and Ramires. Mourinho now faces possible FA sanction for his remarks.

He could be joined by coach Rui Faria, who was sent off for confronting Dean on the touchline after the penalty was awarded. Mourinho forcibly restrained the coach by visibly pulling the back of his hair.

The Chelsea manager could then barely contain his own anger in an emotional two-minute press conference where he did not take a single question. “I want to congratulate again Mike Dean,” Mourinho sarcastically said. “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 [finally], 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.”

Dean did seem to make a series of errors, not least with two Chelsea penalty calls. There was also a suspicion of offside about Connor Wickham’s opening goal for Sunderland. But the home side benefited from the referee missing a blatant swipe from Ramires on Adam Johnson in the first half that could have led to a red card.

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