'Weak & naive', Mourinho blasts referee again

Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas speaks to referee Damir Skomina after being denied a penalty. Chelsea are in third place in Champions League Group G after their 0-0 draw.
Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas speaks to referee Damir Skomina after being denied a penalty. Chelsea are in third place in Champions League Group G after their 0-0 draw.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

KIEV • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho resumed his hostility towards referees and his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger after his team's 0-0 draw at Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Mourinho was fined £50,000 (S$107,600) by England's Football Association and given a suspended one-game stadium ban for saying a referee had been "afraid" to give his side a penalty during their recent 1-3 loss at home to Southampton.

But the suspended ban does not extend to European competition, enabling Mourinho to return to the theme after referee Damir Skomina denied Cesc Fabregas a spot kick during the first half of the Group G game in Kiev.

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    For the first time in this campaign, Chelsea resembled the team of last season. Significantly, there were good performances from the three big players dropped in recent weeks - John Terry, Nemanja Matic and Eden Hazard.

    Perhaps the team are only now getting into proper shape physically. I was shocked when I heard Diego Costa was doing extra training because he was overweight - I wouldn't have thought his manager Jose Mourinho would have let that happen.


    This game proved once again that Cesc Fabregas has to play farther forward for Chelsea, just behind the striker. He is nowhere near the same player when he is asked to defend as one of the two central midfielders. Ramires can fill that position perfectly well with his incessant running, always tracking back.

    Fabregas is fantastic with the ball. When he is 20 metres more advanced, he hurts you - his trademark through-balls are more effective.


    I've been wanting to see how Chelsea would defend as a team without Branislav Ivanovic at right-back and now we have an answer. Mourinho refused to drop him but, in his enforced absence through injury against Aston Villa and Dynamo Kiev, his team-mates have looked far more solid. It was interesting that Baba Rahman did not replace Ivanovic - the manager clearly feels the young Ghanaian is too reckless to play in a big game.


    Willian has obviously been practising hard at free kicks. He is suddenly a big threat for Chelsea at set-pieces, scoring in their first two Champions League games of this season and creating two more chances on Tuesday. One hit the underside of the crossbar and the other was centimetres from being met by Costa at close range. Those were curled, but Willian can also blast a stationary ball to good effect.


Echoing recent remarks by Wenger - for which the Frenchman avoided punishment by the FA - Mourinho told British television channel BT Sport: "The referee was weak and naive. Big penalty. I cannot understand what the goal referee does, because he doesn't make a clear decision, too. And when the result is 0-0 and such a penalty is not given, it is a crucial moment in the game."

The penalty incident saw Fabregas break into the Dynamo box from the left before stumbling over Serhiy Rybalka's outstretched leg and then being caught from behind by Yevhen Khacheridi.

Mourinho was referring to Wenger's comments that referee Mike Dean had been "weak" and "naive" for sending off Arsenal defender Gabriel during the Gunners' 2-0 defeat at Chelsea last month. Gabriel's red card, which he received for flicking out a foot at Chelsea striker Diego Costa, was subsequently rescinded by the FA on appeal.

Tuesday's result left Chelsea in third place in Group G, a point below Dynamo and three points behind leaders Porto. But Mourinho, whose side also hit the woodwork through the recalled Eden Hazard and Willian, was encouraged by his team's performance.

"Good, solid performance, second clean sheet (after Saturday's 2-0 win over Aston Villa)," said the Portuguese, whose side are 10 points behind current leaders Manchester City in the Premier League.

"Everybody fighting for each other and trying to give each other the tactical discipline the team need."

Over at Porto, goals from Vincent Aboubakar in the 37th minute and Yacine Brahimi in the 41st helped put the Portuguese side in the box seat to qualify for the last 16.

Porto's former Real Madrid 'keeper Iker Casillas set a new record for the most clean sheets in the Champions League with his 51st shutout, moving one ahead of former Juventus and Manchester United 'keeper Edwin van der Sar.

"I am very happy to have broken the record. This was one of the easier matches I have had in the competition but I do expect it will be harder for us in the return match in Israel in two weeks' time," the Spanish 'keeper said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2015, with the headline ''Weak & naive', Mourinho blasts referee again'. Print Edition | Subscribe