Manuel Pellegrini believes that Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea players are guilty of constantly bullying referees into making decision that favor the London club, and not only is that unfair, but it’s also “not the correct way” to win, according to the Manchester City manager.
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Pellegrini, speaking to newspaper reporters ahead of his side’s Premier League clash at Burnley (Saturday, 1:30 pm ET, Watch live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra), was quick to fan the flames emanating from Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League defeat to PSG this week.
Pellegrini, from the Express:
“You will never see a City player surround the referee. Maybe you can discuss a decision with the referee but that’s just one moment in the game. But I don’t think that’s the way this team is prepared to win.
“If every time the referee has a decision you have all the players on top of him then it’s impossible for the referee to work.
“I always say that it’s very important to win but I think there are different ways to win. And you must analyze and decide which is the correct way and which is not the correct way.
“I’m talking about a lot of things that happen in different games with different teams. But they always work in trying to pressure the referee in every decision, so the referee always has problems.
Pellegrini isn’t wrong about the way Chelsea players treat referees and influence decisions, and there are two conceivable ways to put an end to this epidemic.
Either the Football Association steps up and says they’ll punish players and/or teams who repeatedly engage in mass confrontations with referees — like Major League Soccer has done in recent years — or the refs stand up for themselves and don’t let the players’ pleas and antics affect their calls. One is certainly a simpler fix than the other, as it takes the human element out of the equation.