Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made the shock move of praising referee Kevin Friend over his decision not to award a penalty in Sunday’s FA Cup clash with Watford, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Portuguese manager has repeatedly complained about the standard of officiating in recent weeks, with Mourinho believing that his side are the centre of a conspiracy.
Initially, he complained to the BBC, who were covering the game, saying that it was the third clear penalty in three games that his side had not been awarded.
However, after discussing the decision with Friend, Mourinho admitted that it was an excellent call by the referee, rather than the result of a continued conspiracy against his side.
He said: “I was speaking with the referee and I want to apologise for my comments on TV. What he did was great refereeing.
“He saw that it was a penalty. He was going to give a penalty. But he saw that the ball was going to Remy and he waited a couple of seconds.
“He told me that if Remy did not control the ball well, if the ball had gone over the bar or the ball had been lost then he says he would have given the penalty. So it was a good refereeing. I was complaining but it was good refeering by Kevin.”
The 3-0 win against the Hornets leaves Chelsea still in the hunt for an unprecedented four trophies heading into the business end of the season.
They sit atop the Premier League, although if the season were to end now, they would have to play a play-off against Manchester City to decide the champions.