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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ramires, Mourinho back penalty call

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insisted referee Andre Marriner had been right to award his side the injury-time penalty for a foul on Ramires that rescued his unbeaten record at Stamford Bridge.

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ESPN Poll: Did Ramires dive?

With time ticking away and the Londoners 2-1 down to West Bromwich Albion, Marriner pointed to the spot when Ramires went down under challenge from Steven Reid.

Baggies boss Steve Clarke said he was "flabbergasted" by the decision, and his players were incensed as Eden Hazard converted to earn a controversial 2-2 draw.

Mourinho, who had not lost any of his 65 Premier League home games in two spells as manager, said: "It is difficult for the team that is winning to accept because you are waiting for the last whistle and the penalty comes. But a penalty is a penalty, whether it is minute 94 or minute one.

"This one was a penalty. From the bench, I did not know, I was too far away, but from looking at the [replay] screen, there are no doubts."

Ramires denied the accusations that he dived, insisting it is not in his "character".

"I have never used diving to win fouls or penalties," he told ESPN Brazil. "It's not my character, and those who know me know it very well."

Mourinho added that he felt West Brom's second goal should have been disallowed for a foul on Branislav Ivanovic, adding: "It is a big free-kick, just in front of the fourth official.

"That's where I think the fourth official's job is. Instead of looking to see if the manager is in his technical area or not, he should participate in the game."

He said he was delighted by the way in which his players had responded to going 2-1 down after Samuel Eto'o struck the opener. "After their second goal, our reaction could have been we die or we fight for life, and the team fought for life and threw everything into attack," he explained.

And he praised Hazard's calm conversion from the spot, explaining: "Penalties are easy to score in training sessions -- I score -- as they are when you are winning 3-0 or 4-0, but this was a difficult one and the kid was very calm."

Frustrated Clarke, Mourinho's former assistant at Chelsea, said: "I am flabbergasted at the decision -- I cannot believed the referee gave it. What is the point [of talking to the referee]? I cannot change the decision.

"He [Ramires] started going down early before the contact, so you guys can put a label on it if you want. For me, the onus is on the referee to make the correct decision, and he did not make it."


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