Jose Mourinho has been relentless in his criticism of referees this season, but the officials came to Chelsea’s aid during their crucial Champions League clash with Porto at Stamford Bridge this evening.
The fifth official behind the goal did brilliantly to spot that the ball had crossed the line for Chelsea’s 12th-minute opener – a Marcano Sierra own goal after Diego Costa’s shot had been saved.
Costa would have expected to score himself when sent through one-on-one with Iker Casillas by Eden Hazard, his attempted finish perhaps showing some rustiness from his recent spell out of the side.
But the Blues got the slice of fortune that Mourinho will argue is long overdue as the ball bounced back off Marcano and trickled over the line despite the best efforts of scrambling Porto captain Maicon.
The Champions League does not use goal-line technology as the Premier League does, and Chelsea were therefore reliant on the oft-criticised assistant behind the goal making the correct decision.
As Sky Sports report, Mourinho was handed a £50,000 fine and a one-match stadium ban in October after accepting a Football Association misconduct charge for implying bias against Chelsea by referees.
The Portuguese told Sky Sports after a 3-1 home loss to Southampton: “When we are at the top I understand that there is quite a big pleasure in putting us down but when you are down I think you need to be a bit honest and to make clear that the referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea.”
The Special One can have no complaints tonight, though, when victory will guarantee the Blues progress to the last 16 as Group G winners, and likely dump Mourinho’s former club out in the process.
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