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Cesc Fabregas says referee Anthony Taylor had “a bad day at the office” after he booked the Chelsea midfielder for diving during Sunday’s draw at Southampton.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was furious that his team were not awarded a penalty early in the second half when Fabregas went down in the box following a challenge from Matt Targett.
Instead of awarding Chelsea a spot-kick Taylor decided the Spaniard had dived and booked him, a decision which Mourinho believes is part of a growing movement against his side.
“There was definitely contact,” Fabregas said.
“I don’t think the referee had the best game of his life but we’re all human and a bad day at the office can happen to anyone.
That’s it, let’s not talk more about it, we have to talk about football.”
Mourinho claims that Chelsea are the victim of a diving campaign which he feels is costing his team points.
“In other countries where I worked before, tomorrow in the sports papers it would be a front-page scandal because it is a scandal,” the Chelsea boss said following the match.
“I think it is a scandal because it is not a small penalty – it is a penalty like Big Ben.
In this country – and I am happy with that, more than happy with that – we will just say that it was a big mistake with a big influence in the result.
Mourinho blamed the Fabregas booking on recent accusations of diving made against Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic, who was named by Sam Allardyce in the wake of West Ham’s Boxing Day defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea legend Ron Harris entered the debate by claiming players who are going down “very easily” are creating a “disease” in football.
Harris, who made a club record 795 appearances for Chelsea, jumped to the defence of Mourinho and Fabregas and believes they were right to feel aggrieved about the booking.