Cesc Fabregas pushes referee Michael Oliver

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Chelsea have made it a habit to squabble with match officials this season, with Jose Mourinho claiming an unjust "campaign" has left his side disadvantaged, but it was referee Michael Oliver who was on the receiving end of uncalled for treatment in the Blues' 3-2 victory over Hull City on Sunday.

In an action that went largely unnoticed in real time, as Hull City attempted to hit Chelsea on the break, footage appears to show the Spanish playmaker shoving Oliver in the back.

After Angel di Maria's dismissal for tugging on the shirt of the same referee in their FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, it would certainly not be unjustified for Oliver to at least have called Fabregas back for a stern talking to.

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Yet, the Spaniard's actions went unnoticed and unpunished by the match official. One certainly feels that the referee felt the push, but the question marks remain over his failure to act on the player's vicious push. 

Uncalled for 

Indeed, it is not uncommon for players hoping to catch opponents on the break to push referees out of the way as they impede their counter-attack.

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However, in new footage it would appear that Hull were in possession of the ball with the action moving away from Fabregas.

Nothing warrants aggressive behaviour towards a match official, but it seems even more flagrant a misconduct when Fabregas and his team were not in possession of the ball at the time. 

It would seem that perhaps Fabregas' shove was a reflection of his underwhelming run of form in the league since the turn of the new year.

The playmaker was controversially subject to jeers by his own fans in Chelsea's stalemate against Southampton last weekend, as the Spaniard has failed to re-discover the scintillating form of last year when he provided an astonishing thirteen assists in his first sixteen league games. 

Not the first time 

It may surprise some to know that it is not the first time that the usually calm spaniard has shoved a referee this season. In fact, it seems that in a similar incident, Fabregas had already shoved the match official in Chelsea's victory 2-0 over Derby County. 

Another decisive contribution 

Although Fabregas was involved in an incident with Oliver, he can at least be comforted in the knowledge that he managed to assist compatriot Diego Costa for Chelsea's second goal against Hull.

The main reason cited by Barcelona for his departure to Chelsea in the summer was the acknowledgement that although Fabregas provided a number of assists in the first half of a season, his assists appeared to dry out in the more decisive second half of seasons.

Unfortunately for the Spaniard, it seems that this is a trend likely to continue at Stamford Bridge although his assist on Sunday at least means that he is seemingly back on the right track.

Indeed, the Blues will need their star playmaker to reverse this wretched trend if they are to secure their first Barclays Premier League title since 2010.

Should Cesc Fabregas be punished for this push on Michael Oliver? Have your say in the comments below!

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Francesc Fabregas
Premier League

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