Jose Mourinho might have a point about anti-Chelsea campaign

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Football News

José Mourinho has claimed that there is a "campaign" within the media to influence referees against his Chelsea players.

The Portuguese manager claimed that the specific focus on simulation from Chelsea players within the English media led to the wrongful denial of a penalty on Sunday in their game against Southampton.

Cesc Fabregas fell under the challenge of Saints left-back Matt Targett, there was clear contact but referee Anthony Taylor opted to book the Spaniard for diving.

Diving claims

Sam Allardyce voiced his displeasure over simulation from Chelsea players on Boxing Day after Branislav Ivanovic allegedly dived in attempt to win a penalty, although the Serbian's fall was theatrical, there was slight contact and thus he had every right to hit the ground.

The West Ham boss isn't the only manager to bemoan Chelsea's 'divers' this season, with Steve Bruce also complaining to the media after his Hull side visited Stamford Bridge - Diego Costa and Willian were both cautioned for simulation in that game.

Chelsea have been booked four times for diving this season, the most in the Premier League - but Mourinho does have a right to feel victimised.

On the opening weekend of the season, Diego Costa was wrongfully booked for diving after being brought down by Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton. The Spanish striker was once again harshly booked against Hull after there was a clear trip from Tom Huddlestone - however, Costa's dramatic fall most likely did him no favours.

Does he have a point?

Willian was perhaps correctly booked in the same fixture, but running at the speed he was you have to wonder how little contact it would take to send him to the ground - harsh, once more. Gary Cahill clearly dived in the penalty area later in this game, it was the most blatant of the three - but the England international did not see yellow.

We then come to yesterday's game against Southampton, the referee cannot be sure that it is a penalty and thus doesn't give it, but how can he be sure Fabregas has dived? He can't, but because of the label Chelsea have been given in the past few weeks - he brandishes the yellow card.

Mourinho could well be onto something here, or it could be his usual mind games. Either way, it's a situation worth keeping an eye on.

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Francesc Fabregas
Branislav Ivanovic
Diego Costa
Premier League

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