The Chelsea FC website recently published an article entitled "Penalty Puzzles" which appeared to suggest that the Blues had received an abnormally low amount of penalties this season.
The website appeared to fully back manager Jose Mourinho's recent outrage at a supposed campaign against his side, by saying that compared to other top-four clubs such as Arsenal, the Blues had received a ridiculously low amount of favourable spot-kick decisions this season.
The article revealed: "Our two closest challengers in the Premier League this season, Manchester City and Arsenal, have both been awarded seven penalties, the most in the division".
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Amid accusations of simulation and negative football, the article went on to highlight that Chelsea's position as "clear league leaders and second highest scorers suggests (we) can't be labelled anything other than an attacking side, spending plenty of time in the opposition box".
Victims of a campaign
Certainly, the statistics do seem to back up the latest Chelsea claim. The Blues have been awarded a mere two penalties in 28 Premier League games. When you compare this statistic to the 11 spot-kicks the Blues were awarded in the 2012-13 season, it would certainly appear that the west London side have been harshly done by by match officials in this particular respect.
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More damming still, according to the Blues website, is the fact that their last penalty came four and a half months ago in a home win against QPR. The article went on to back up their manager's recent claims about his strikers being unfairly booked for simulation, and a lack of clear-cut penalty decisions against Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic not going their way.
"From the first half of our very first league game at Burnley, a number of key penalty box decisions have not gone our way," the article reads.
"Diego Costa was the victim that evening after being felled trying to round the keeper. He should have been awarded penalties against Liverpool and Paris St Germain recently too."
Mourinho backs up article claim
In his press conference ahead of Chelsea's visit to the KC Stadium on Sunday, Mourinho appeared to support the claims made in the "Penalty Puzzle" article. However, he has refused to admit his side are targeting officials ahead of their game against Hull, saying: "I think the article was objective. It was just the numbers. It's not open to interpretation. It was an article with numbers and the numbers tell the truth. No more than that, no agendas."
Indeed, for once, it would appear that the numbers do back up Mourinho's "penalty campaign" claim. However, whether the article will influence the outcome of Sunday's match remains to be seen...
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