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Sunderland boss Poyet sympathises with angry Mourinho

“If it was against me, in a situation like that, I would have been fuming, for sure,” he said.

Sunderland's manager Gustavo Poyet has said he would have been
Sunderland's manager Gustavo Poyet has said he would have been "fuming" in Mourinho's position.

SUNDERLAND BOSS GUS Poyet tried to console Jose Mourinho after Fabio Borini’s controversial penalty condemned the Chelsea manager to a first home league defeat.

The Chelsea bench and players were angry at the decision of referee Mike Dean to award a spot-kick at Stamford Bridge on Saturday when Sunderland substitute Jozy Altidore went down under a challenge from Cesar Azpilicueta.

Frustrations boiled over with Mourinho and members of his staff forced to drag away assistant coach Rui Faria, who attempted to confront the match official.

Borini converted to secure a 2-1 victory for the Premier League’s bottom club, ending Mourinho’s 77-game unbeaten run in the league at Stamford Bridge and delivering a major blow to London side Chelsea’s hopes of claiming the title.

Afterwards Poyet, a former Chelsea player, admitted he too would also have been incensed had the decision gone against him.

“If it was against me, I would do the same,” said the Uruguayan.

“Emotion, key moment in the season, it could be the key moment for the title, that one.

“When it’s for you, you feel you can see why he gave it. Especially the linesman: Azpilicueta going down.

“But if it was against me, in a situation like that, I would have been fuming, for sure.”

Poyet added: “I saw it on the computer and I understand why they can be talking if it was (a penalty) or not. It’s very difficult. I never, ever would expect to get a penalty here. Ever.”

Samuel Eto’o put Chelsea ahead in the 12th minute, but Connor Wickham levelled six minutes later and Sunderland survived steady home pressure until Borini — on a season-long loan from Liverpool — settled the game.

Chelsea remain two points adrift of league leaders Liverpool, whom they face at Anfield next weekend, having played a game more and must now lift their spirits ahead of the midweek trip to face Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

For Sunderland, Borini’s goal ensured they followed up the 2-2 draw at Manchester City with a priceless win that moved them to within three points of safety.

- ‘Keep fighting’ -

“If we don’t stay up now it will be a shame, really,” said Poyet.

“Wednesday, we were dead and then we got a point against City and should have been three. We got three here, which offered a great opportunity.

“The relegation battle is incredible, heart-breaking, difficult, but I’m privileged to be involved in the Premier League so I’m going to keep fighting.

“You can expect anything from us now, one way or the other. We look a completely different team from Wednesday afternoon.”

Poyet added: “I just want to keep this level of performance from now on in.

“Probably we accept we are the smaller team in matches like this. We play Cardiff next week. How are we going to convince everyone in England we’re the smallest team in England? No chance.

“Maybe we’re the better team. Are we? It’s a mental thing. The strongest team mentally will go and win the game.”

Turning to Borini, Poyet said: “Everyone will be talking about Fabio now because he’s a Liverpool player. He’ll have a few texts from friends at Liverpool, for sure. But we play only for Sunderland.”

© AFP, 2014

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