It is a good job that Jose Mourinho was absent from the Britannia Stadium this evening, because otherwise it may have been the same old story at the end of Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke City.
The Blues boss, serving a stadium ban for an abusive rant at referee Jonathan Moss during Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to West Ham, as BBC Sport reports, may have again have been blaming defeat on the officials.
The visitors seemed to be denied a blatant penalty in the latter stages, when Loic Remy admirably hurdled the challenge of Jack Butland, but subsequently lost balance and sent his shot wide.
Although there was no contact between the two players, Butland’s intervention was enough to disrupt the run of Remy, who seemed destined to cancel out Marko Arnautovic’s acrobatic 52nd-minute opener.
SEE MORE: Marko Arnautovic goal video: Acrobatic effort puts Mourinho-less Chelsea on course for another damaging defeat
Strangely, there was little appeal from the Chelsea players in the direction of referee Anthony Taylor. Is that because they are sick of the referee bashing that they have heard from their own manager?
A seventh defeat of the campaign – more than Mourinho has ever suffered during a Premier League season – leaves the Londoners 16th in the table and only three points above the relegation zone.
The Premier League champions are also 13 points adrift of the top four. Will Mourinho still have a job after the international break? Or has he sat in the Stamford Bridge dugout for the final time?
Jesse Lingard goal video: Winger’s first goal for Man United is anything but boring
(Video) Liverpool legend takes hilarious dig at Man United diver after latest theatrics
(Video) Arsene Wenger cracks joke to show he sees funny side of Aaron Ramsey injury row