Jose Mourinho did a passable impersonation of a smouldering volcano and just about managed to stop short of a full-scale eruption after watching his Chelsea side drop two precious points on Saturday vs Burnley.
Referee Martin Atkinson and Burnley striker Ashley Barnes were the principle objects of his wrath after a 1-1 home draw with lowly Burnley but, by the Chelsea manager’s recent standards, his criticism was tempered.
The Premier League leaders seemed to be on course for victory following yet another goal by defender Branislav Ivanovic before Nemanja Matic’s temporary loss of control after a dreadful studs-up challenge by Barnes earned him a red card in the 70th minute.
Burnley, given fresh heart by Matic’s sending-off, then turned the tables on Chelsea and earned a draw with a late header from Ben Mee.
Mourinho blamed Atkinson for denying Chelsea two strong penalty claims and for not punishing Barnes with a red card for two bad first-half fouls.
“This game had four crucial moments, minutes 30, 33, 43 and 69,” he said after his team’s lead was cut to five points.
“Minute 69 had a big relation to minute 30. Normally the player (Barnes), if I can call him a player, who was involved in minute 69 and was also involved in minute 30, should be in the shower by minute 31.
“Then there would be no minute 69 if the person in charge dealt with minute 30.”
Mourinho again spoke of the so-called “campaign” by the authorities that, in his opinion, was undermining Chelsea’s title charge.
“A couple of weeks ago, after the Liverpool game in the Capital One Cup, I knew already what was going on with the television talking about ‘Diego Costa’s crimes’,” he said of the stamping challenges which led to a three-match ban for his striker.
“Compare Diego’s crimes with what happened today. If this story (campaign), that started a couple of months ago, finished today and we had 12 matches to play with an advantage of five points … we would be champions.
“But I don’t know if the story ends here or if there is more waiting.”
Mourinho, no stranger to FA punishments for verbal outbursts, could not resist another barb at opposition teams, hinting his players were on the wrong end of over-aggressive tackling.
“How unlucky we are in many things is compensated by how lucky we are with (not getting) injuries,” he said.