Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea: Jose Mourinho back on the offensive as referee incurs his wrath

Blues boss unhappy at Phil Dowd's failure to award his side a penalty when they were 1-0 up

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Jose Mourinho blamed major decisions by referee Phil Dowd for Chelsea’s 5-3 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur, echoing his complaints about referee Anthony Taylor in Sunday’s draw with Southampton.

Mourinho refused to be specific about the decision that he said was pivotal in the game but it is understood that it was what he regarded as handball in the penalty area by Jan Vertonghen when the Spurs defender was on the ground in the first half. Mourinho said that with the score then at 1-0 to his team, a second from the penalty spot would have made it hard for Spurs to come back.

As it stands, Chelsea are now top of the Premier League by virtue of alphabetical order alone, having an identical record to Manchester City who beat Sunderland 3-2 with a goal from the on-loan Frank Lampard, a late substitute.

Asked about why he was upset with Dowd’s performance, Mourinho said that there were “no doubts” about the handball incident. “I don’t think we need clarification when there are no doubts. When you have doubts, when the situation is not clear, I think the discussion comes good. Everyone can have a different opinion. The same way against Southampton [when he claimed Taylor missed a penalty for Cesc Fabregas] there was no discussion, today there was no discussion too.

“We are speaking about two matches [Southampton and Spurs], six points. We had one [point] out of six when two crucial decisions would give us six points. What matters are the points. The decisions – the normal tendency is for people to forget the decisions.”

Referring to the penalty appeal against Vertonghen, Mourinho had said earlier, “With the result 1-0, one clear action [the award of a penalty] could make it 2-0. Normally, at 2-0, the result would be completely different.”

Mourinho was forced to accept that a contentious challenge by Federico Fazio on Eden Hazard had not been a foul, because the Chelsea player himself had admitted as much. In his interviews with BT Sport, Mourinho accused referee Dowd of being unable to keep up with play. He later backed down from that accusation in his press conference, saying instead that it had been “difficult” for the official.

Earlier, on television, Mourinho had accused Dowd of being too slow to keep up with play. It was an accusation that echoed Sir Alex Ferguson’s criticism of the referee after a game in April 2013. Mourinho said: “Mr Dowd was too slow to follow that ball. He was 40 yards away, but made the right decision. The decision he was 10 metres away he couldn’t make.”

Asked whether he had seen a kick by Gary Cahill into the back of Harry Kane, who scored two of Spurs’ goals, Mourinho implied that it was not worse than Raheem Sterling swinging an arm at Federico Fernandez in Liverpool’s game against Swansea. “I didn’t see that. But it was like... [in the back]. Not like Sterling, in the face?”

On the extension of Lampard’s stay at Manchester City, from their sister club New York City, Mourinho said: “Lampard? They can bring any player from New York FC. They can bring anyone and nobody will stop them. ”

Mauricio Pochettino said that Kane had “pain in his back” from the Cahill incident. The Spurs manager said the victory – Spurs’ first against  Chelsea since April 2010 – would be a psychological boost. “We need to believe and build our way. Victories like today, you can improve more quickly.”

“We’ve started to improve a lot in the last few months. I think that we are more strong now.”

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