• Premier League

Mourinho hits out at Suarez

ESPN staff
December 29, 2013 « Murray feeling 'pretty good' ahead of new season | Chartbeat test »
Was Suarez fouled?

Jose Mourinho turned down suggestions that Liverpool striker Luis Suarez should have had a penalty in Chelsea's 2-1 win on Sunday by insisting the Uruguayan should have been booked instead.

Mourinho's men came from behind to keep the pressure on Arsenal at the top of the table with Samuel Eto'o in the spotlight.

Although Eto'o scored the winner, he was perhaps lucky to escape punishment for an early challenge on Jordan Henderson - it was from the resulting free kick that Liverpool scored - and then late on the striker fouled Suarez in the penalty area. However, Mourinho sought to take the blame, saying he had told Eto'o to take a more physical approach.

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"I didn't see it, I don't know which situation you are referring to,'' he said when asked about the challenge on Henderson. He then added: "For some weeks I have been criticising him a lot internally for his failure to adapt to what the Premier League is in terms of physicality so if he had a tackle deserving of a card it was my fault because I'm asking him to adapt to this.''

He was more forthright about the penalty, claiming Suarez should have been booked while his own side deserved a spot-kick when Eden Hazard tumbled in the area. "I think there is another big case for a penalty on Hazard,'' he said. "Something is happening, week after week, I don't know why referees don't see it. He's a fair boy and I don't know why this is happening...

"On the other situation with Suarez I would resolve this differently with a yellow card for Luis Suarez. I keep saying I hate players trying to provoke situations. Luis is an amazing player and I have lots of respect for his quality and his attitude of trying to win every game but sometimes he tries too much... Eto'o just put his body in front of him. It looks like somebody shot him.''

Mourinho also paid tribute to the efforts of Premier League players around the country for their performances throughout the busy festive period with their third game in seven days.

"Premier League players in this country deserve fantastic respect because what they do is amazing,'' he said. "To play in this period is beautiful. I love it. I keep saying I love it. The players are monsters in a good sense of the word... It is fantastic propaganda for what football is.''

Meanwhile, David Luiz hailed Hazard for his match-winning performance.

"Of course it is not very good to [concede] a goal in the first minutes but there was a really strong mentality in the team, we gave everything on the pitch and it was magic tonight,'' Luiz said on Sky Sports. "Eden had a great game tonight and I'm happy we have players like Eden in the team because then I see amazing football.''

The win keeps Chelsea in third, just two points from leaders Arsenal. "We will keep fighting for the title,'' Luiz added.

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