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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 07:49 GMT
Fulham influenced ref - Mourinho
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was unhappy his goal was ruled out
Having seen the TV replay we were spot on. We have got the biggest decision in the game correct
Referee Mike Dean
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho accused the referee of caving in to pressure from Fulham players after disallowing a goal from Didier Drogba in Sunday's defeat.

Referee Mike Dean defended his decision to wipe out the 'goal' for a handball after the match at Craven Cottage.

Mourinho said: "It's a handball so it's not a goal and the decision is correct.

"What is not correct is the referee didn't see and allows the goal, the linesman didn't see but after pressure by Fulham they changed their decision."

Drogba controlled the ball with his hand before running on to shoot past keeper Mark Crossley.

Dean seemed to give the goal but was surrounded by Fulham players and eventually changing his mind after consulting his assistant Paul Norman.

But Mourinho added: "I promise you, the linesman did not see it."

However, Dean told BBC Sport: "I went over to Paul and he told me that as the ball has been played forward he is convinced there has been a handball.

"We had a chat and we were happy it was handball.

"Having seen the TV replay we were spot on. We have got the biggest decision in the game correct.

"If we had have got it wrong we would have been absolutely battered but we have got it right - and let's get a bit of praise for a change.

"I'm really pleased with how it has gone."

Referees chief Keith Hackett backed Dean and rubbished reports he had been pressured into changing his mind.

"Pressure is when you've got a soldier walking down a street in Iraq likely to be killed at any moment by a bomb or a bullet - we are talking about a game of football here," Hackett said.

"In the Premiership there is plenty of protection around, Mike doesn't feel the pressure. If he was under pressure at this stage he wouldn't be there."

Although Crossley admitted to BBC Radio Five Live that the Fulham players probably had a bearing on Dean's decision.

"We were screaming at him saying 'it was handball' and he went over to his linesman for a chat for about a minute," he said.

"We have to give credit to the referee and the linesman as they got the decision correct in the end."

Fulham manager Chris Coleman was pleased that the decision went his side's way.

He said: "I thought it was handball but I didn't think the linesman would be able to see it from the position he was in. I can understand their frustrations though, having had a goal given and then taken away."

Because of the first half we deserved to lose, from the second half we deserved to win
Jose Mourinho

"I thought my players were magnificent, they showed a lot of heart but we have showed that we can produce the goods here at Craven Cottage.

"I thought we deserved the three points and it's going to give us a big boost.

"The lads did everyone proud, the players responded to the atmosphere but they knew how important the three points would be.

"The chairman never once put pressure on me. I feel sorry for the fans and players at the club as they've started to get nervous but everything has been fine."

Chelsea ended with 10 men after William Gallas was sent off for a rash lunge at Heidar Helguson.

Mourinho, who said he did not see the incident, said Gallas may have been frustrated at Fulham's tactics.

He added: "I don't know what happened and didn't speak with him but I understand that it's quite frustrating for players to be fighting to change a result and opponents are always delaying, delaying, delaying.

"The ball disappeared, the ball boys disappeared. I can understand this is a frustration and players can have incorrect behaviour in consequences but he has to control himself."

Mourinho felt Chelsea made a poor start - which led to him replacing Joe Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips after 26 minutes - but thought their second-half performance should have earned them a point.

"We didn't play well in the first half," he stated. "We were very poor in the pace of our game and Joe and Shaun did not have a happy game.

"I was watching minute after minute with no reaction from the team - and we needed a change.

"I can say that because of the first half we deserved to lose, from the second half we deserved to win.

"Fulham fought very hard. I'm in the middle of being unhappy but I can feel happy for Chris."

Interview: Referee Mike Dean on disallowing Drogba strike

Interview: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho

Interview: Chris Coleman and Mohamed Al Fayed

Interview: Luis Boa Morte


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