Jose Mourinho lost his first ever Premier League match at home and in the process lost the League title, his best midfielder, his assistant, and his mind.
Chelsea looked rattled by Sunderland’s in your face approach to the game from the start and no player was more rattled than Ramires. Ramires was subject of a fairly hard aerial challenge which put him off scoring and that was followed minutes later by a nippy tackle, both from Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson. But the Brazilian’s reaction to his treatment was simply outrageous, he punched Larsson in the face. Worse, replays show that the punch was intentional as Ramires looks back at Larsson before lashing out.
No one knows if Mike Dean saw the incident since he didn’t stop play and seemed to be waving play on for the earlier Larsson tackle. But we must assume that he didn’t see the punch because if he did see it, then there is a serious problem with his judgement as a referee. Assuming that he didn’t see the punch, it seems a clear case that Ramires will be punished very harshly by the FA for violent conduct. Three match ban would be the minimum in this case but the FA could impose harsher punishment given the nature of the attack.
It was a fiery match but Chelsea looked good money to pull out the win and Sunderland were lucky to escape the first half with the scoreline 1-1. Chelsea started the second half the way they had ended the first, attacking Sunderland’s goal almost at will. The stats bear out the fact that Chelsea were unlucky not to win the match.
The Blues took 31 shots, 15 on target, 8 of the on target shots were right in front of goal and a further three of the missed shots were taken in the same positions. That’s 11 shots right in front of goal, any of which you would normally expect a top team to score. Yet a combination of good keeping by former Arsenal player Vito Mannone and good luck kept Chelsea at bay.
Not finding the breakthrough, and with their title hopes in the balance, the pressure started to mount on Chelsea and the cracks started to show. Fullback Cesar Azpilicueta made several crucial errors and in the 80th minute compounded a slip with a horrible tackle that brought down Sunderland’s Jozy Altidore in the penalty box. The sideline official waved for the foul and Mike Dean pointed to the penalty spot with his usual dramatic flourish.
Up stepped Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini and after a stutter step walk up, sent Mark Schwarzer the wrong way to put Sunderland in the lead. It’s ironic that Chelsea would have their title hopes undone by a Liverpool player on loan since Chelsea have actively pursued the loan system as a means to stockpile players while keeping their payroll down and destabilizing the Premier League.
Before the net had stopped rippling Chelsea’s bench went apoplectic and fitness coach Rui Faria confronted Mike Dean burning with rage. Held back by Mourinho and others, Faria was screaming at Dean over something and Dean had no choice but to request he be removed.
Chelsea pressed and pressed for the tying goal but there was no getting through and as the clock wore down fans watching on television knew that the most exciting thing to happen next was probably going to be Jose Mourinho’s post-match interview. And the Special One didn’t let anyone down.
Asked for his opinion of the match, Jose, his voice dripping with sarcasm, congratulated his players, the Sunderland players, the referees, and head of the referee’s association Mike Riley for a great season. Thankfully the Oscar music started playing in his head and spared us suffering through him thanking his dog for licking his face with such “perfect breath”, his wife for a “great back rub”, Abramovich for the “huge warchest”, Torres for “scoring bags of goals”, the British media for “fair reporting”, America for the “moon landing”, scientists for “global warming” and “evolution”, and god for “creating the world.”
Mourinho ridiculed Arsene Wenger earlier in the season calling Arsenal’s most successful ever manager a “specialist in failure”. But given his own history of outrageous behavior when his team lose, once poking a man in the eye, perhaps Mourinho should be branded a “specialist in poor sportsmanship.”