Chelsea question penalty awards as Mourinho's 'campaign' claims take new twist
Jose Mourinho's claims of a "campaign" against Chelsea took another twist on Wednesday with an extraordinary article published on the club's website complaining they have been awarded an "abnormally low" number of penalties this season.
The Football Association (FA) hit Mourinho with a £25,000 fine in January for comments he made in the wake of a 1-1 draw with Southampton, during which referee Anthony Taylor booked Cesc Fabregas for diving in the box.
At the time, Mourinho responded to that incident by saying: "There is a campaign against Chelsea. I don't know why there is this campaign and I do not care. Everybody know it was a penalty."
And, following another contentious incident in the reverse fixture on Sunday, when Branislav Ivanovic appeared to be caught by Dusan Tadic in the area but had his appeals waved away by referee Mike Dean, Chelsea have now openly questioned the amount of spot-kicks awarded to them in the Premier League this season.
The article read: "It is in our 28 Premier League games this season where we have been awarded just two penalties. Both were for infringements on the league's most-fouled player, Eden Hazard, and both were in home London derbies, against Arsenal and QPR respectively. The most recent was four-and-a-half months ago.
"Historically, this figure seems abnormally low."
The piece also included a list of penalties awarded to Chelsea in the previous five seasons, highlighting how this term's lower tally "unquestionably bucks the recent trend".
It went on to outline a series of incidents where spot-kick appeals have been turned down this campaign.
"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. City have only scored one goal more than Chelsea and Arsenal two less," it continued.
"Last term, the two teams that finished above us in the league – Man City and Liverpool – were awarded more penalties than any other team bar us.
"Of course, it could be that when teams have played the league leaders they have been particularly careful inside their own area. We all have plenty of recollections suggesting this is not the case however.
"From the first half of our very first league game, at Burnley, a number of key penalty-box decisions have not gone our way, Diego Costa the victim that evening after being felled trying to round the keeper. He should have been awarded Shed End penalties against Liverpool and PSG recently, too.
"At Old Trafford in late October, both John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic were wrestled to the ground as they tried to attack an in-swinging free-kick in front of the Stretford End.
"Cesc Fabregas was then cruelly booked after being tripped inside the area at Southampton and four days later Tottenham escaped after handling close to their own goal.
"All those were before Sunday's incident involving Ivanovic and the previous home game against Burnley when the right-back's goalbound shot was infamously blocked by the clearest of raised arms."
The article comes as the latest official club communication appearing to support Mourinho's views, with Chelsea's website and Twitter account having previously outlined four decisions that 'cost us the game' in the 1-1 draw with Burnley, after the Portuguese had told his post-match media conference that "four key moments" had decided the match.