Mourinho refuses to comment on Dowd

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s unhappiness with referee Phil Dowd was clear despite his insistence he had no comment to make about the official after the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The visitors might have had a penalty in the first half when Chris Smalling tussled with Branislav Ivanovic – at the same time as Marcos Rojo had his hands on John Terry – as a cross was delivered into the United box, but nothing was given.

Then, after Didier Drogba’s 53rd-minute header had put Chelsea in front, they were denied victory in stoppage time when Ivanovic received his second booking of the game for a foul on Angel di Maria and the resulting free-kick came to Robin van Persie, who fired home.

Mourinho seemed keen to avoid getting into trouble with his comments after the game, but it did not take much reading between the lines to guess his feelings about the decisions that had been made by Dowd.

“I have come from the flash interviews,” the Portuguese, whose side are now four points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League, said in his post-match press conference.

“I did five and in all five, the first question was my comments on the referee.

“I told them no comment, because when five ask the same thing, I don’t need to answer.

“I prefer just to say that in my opinion, from where I was and reading the game, my feeling is that we had a good first half and a fantastic second half.

“To come here and play the way we did and not to be happy with the point, because we are not, shows clearly how good we were and how good we are playing at this moment.”

Pushed for his feelings on Dowd’s performance, Mourinho said: “You know I cannot speak.

“Some (managers) can, some don’t. I am one of the ones that cannot because you know what happens to me when I speak.

“So I won’t. I will speak about the game, which I thought was good.

“I thought Manchester United were good, but Chelsea were very good. We played very well, particularly in the second half. I’m so happy with my players.”

Regarding the current standings, he then added: “Of course I prefer to lead from the front.

“We are four points clear, so I can say at this moment that, next weekend, it won’t matter about results – we will be top of the league.

“I prefer to be in front rather than behind, obviously, because you have a little space for your mistakes – or for the referees’ mistakes.”

Mourinho also stressed he regards eighth-placed United as title rivals, despite the gap between the two clubs currently standing at 10 points.

United boss Louis van Gaal was in no doubt the award of the free-kick that led to his side’s goal was fair.

The Dutchman said: “Ivanovic kicked him twice. Maybe the first time (questions can be asked), but the second time, no.”

Van Gaal also hailed the fighting spirit his team had shown to grab a late equaliser for a second successive game.

Asked if he thought the point was deserved, Van Gaal said: “Yes – you know that also, and Jose Mourinho knows that also.

“I have said to the boys it is not our best performance and that is a pity, because at this moment, you have to show yourself – against the better teams.

“But in spite of that, we have created a lot of chances, much more than Chelsea.

“With the corner kick (that led to the Chelsea goal) there was a lack of communication, and after that, we lost our heads for 10 or 15 minutes and they could have scored a second goal.

“They didn’t, and I made a change. We pressed forward, and Chelsea tried to kill the game, making my boys run a lot.

“But my boys did that, fought until the end, and we scored. I think it was very deserved.

“I think the fighting spirit (was pleasing), for the second time after West Brom (a 2-2 draw on Monday).

“I think Chelsea are the best club in Europe at killing the game, but nevertheless we created still one or two chances, and we scored a goal.”

When Drogba scored his header, the marker he got the better of was Rafael, a much shorter player.

Asked about that, Van Gaal said: “I think Rafael is one of the best defenders.

“He lacks a lot of height, but I don’t have other players. That is my problem – we are always smaller than the opponent.

“In England, they have tall people – I think they must select only on the height and not the quality!”

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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