Won't criticise on Day 1: Mourinho on Courtois red in EPL opener

  • AFP, London
  • Updated: Aug 09, 2015 12:52 IST

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho delivered a clear sign he was fuming about the referee decision that cost goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois a red card and handed Swansea the chance to secure a 2-2 draw from the penalty spot in the club's EPL opener on Saturday.

The Blues manager refused to comment on the incident that saw Courtois challenge Bafetimbi Gomis on the edge of his penalty area in the 52nd minute at Stamford Bridge. The striker went to ground, prompting referee Michael Oliver to send off Courtois and point to the spot after the foul was committed inside the area and had denied a goal-scoring opportunity.

Gomis converted the penalty that allowed Swansea to equalise for the second time and ultimately denied Chelsea the opportunity to kick-start their defence of their Premier League title with a victory.

Mourinho remonstrated angrily when the decision was made, but after the game his silence spoke volumes as the manager made it clear he was reluctant to go public with his feelings about the incident. Asked about the decision, the manager said, "First game of the season, I don't want to start in the first game."

Mourinho confirmed he had seen a replay of the incident and insisted he attached no blame to Courtois. The manager has repeatedly fallen foul of the FA after publicly criticising match officials.

Earlier this year he was fined £25,000 (35,328 euros; $38,741) for comments he made following his side's visit to Southampton when he complained of a 'campaign' to influence decisions against his team. Mourinho's unwillingness to discuss Oliver's performance suggested he might have started the new season with a resolution to keep his opinions about refereeing decisions to himself.

But the Portuguese denied this and said, "No, it is just because the first time I can control myself.

"I want to react this way so you don't see he was (complaining) from day one. In day one we were punished, but it was not on day one that I opened my mouth."

Chelsea's failure to see out a game they had twice led inevitably throws focus on the development of the squad since last May when they won the title by eight points. Oscar put them ahead in the 23rd minute and an own-goal by Swansea defender Federico Fernandez restored the lead after Andre Ayew had equalised for the visitors.

So far only keeper Asmir Begovic and striker Radamel Falcao have come into the club as direct replacements for Petr Cech and Didier Drogba.
The manager was last week forced to defend the club's approach which stands in contrast to the approach of Manchester City and Manchester United,who have invested heavily in their squads.

And while this result is unlikely to force a late change of policy in the final weeks of the transfer window, criticism is sure to mount if Chelsea suffer more disappointments. "You know me and I think you don't expect me after a bad result to come here and speak about the squad, the players, the transfer window and investments of other team so on, so," said Mourinho.

"The players know one point is one point, playing with 10 men for such a long time is much more difficult and fundamentally I am happy with the quality they had in the first half and I am happy with their spirit in the second half so we are in peace. We are not happy with the result."

Swansea manager Garry Monk believes the way Ayew took his goal offers a sign of things to come from the Ghana midfielder. "I think he has come in and been incredible. He worked extremely hard with the group and the group have worked hard with him to make him settled," said Monk.

"And it's always good when you are in as a new player, in a new league, even though you have obvious qualities, to get that first goal. It will give him great confidence."

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