Scolari: Refs unfair to Chelsea

Luiz Felipe Scolari claims Premier League referees are not treating Chelsea fairly this season.

Luiz Felipe Scolari claims Premier League referees are not treating Chelsea fairly this season.

Chelsea's Brazilian coach hit out, after explaining the reasons behind his midweek spat with Middlesbrough assistant coach Malcolm Crosby.

The pair argued on the touchline after Scolari's attempts to get Mohamed Shawky sent off had incensed Crosby.

Shawky, already yellow-carded by official Lee Probert, was then penalised for handball.

The Blues boss, much to Crosby's fury, ran to the line waving an imaginary card in Probert's direction.

Scolari claimed that had it been a Chelsea player he would have been red-carded - and also bemoaned the fact his side have been awarded just one penalty all season.

"Yes, I suggested he should be sent off," he confirmed. "It's normal. If that was my player, it's a red card.

"It's not a good example for people. But when they 'kill' my team, it's not good for me.

"Two yellows is a red card for my players - but not for other players. It's time to change.

"I need to help my players more than before, because now I know many more things about things in England.

"All the clubs who come to Stamford Bridge make 20, 50 or 60 fouls and don't get cards, red cards - nothing."

As for Wednesday's controversy, Scolari is happy to set the record straight.

"He [Crosby] said I was trying to interfere in the game - but all I said was that the rule is there, that a handball is a yellow card - so red. That's all I said.

"I am not talking about specific referees, but it has been a problem.

"At Stamford Bridge it's different. We don't have people to pressure the referees; we give the referees all the best; my players try to help the referees during the game - and many times, it is one thing for us and another thing for the other clubs."

Mike Riley, who will take charge of tomorrow's top-of-the-table Premier League clash at Anfield, is unlikely to be affected by Scolari's comments.

Asked if he thought refereeing decisions had cost his side points, the Chelsea coach replied: "Yes.

"I've said many times to my players not to pressure referees. I've said many times we have had 'good referees', but sometimes they make a mistake.

"At Stamford Bridge, (that happens) every time. Away from home, no problem. Give me the statistics. Have we had any penalties until now? The other teams? 10, 12, 15?

"Portsmouth ... any players red-carded against my team? No.

"It's not against this or that. I came here to say what I feel. I wait 23 games to look, and there have been maybe five times to give us a penalty. Maybe in the future we'll get a penalty."

Scolari sets a high price on victory against Liverpool, the side that brought an end to Chelsea's 86-match unbeaten home league run earlier in the season.

Rafa Benitez's side went into the new year in top spot but have drawn four out of their last five home games. They are now in third place, level on points with the Blues, but Scolari refuses to believe the Merseysiders are a club in crisis or that his opposite number is feeling the pressure.

"I look at him as a friend - who had a kidney stone like me," he said, referring to Benitez's recent surgery.

"He had to go three times in the hospital - me, only once.

"He has the same problems as I have building a team. We have some problems and we try to build the best - but sometimes the result is not what I want or he wants. He tries to work hard."

Most coaches work on the assumption that to stop Liverpool you need only to stifle Steven Gerrard.

But Scolari believes: "Gerrard is a fantastic player - one of the best in this position. It's not only Gerrard, though.

"He's fantastic because he scores, marks, dribbles, crosses. He's the complete player.

"But the other players together help him to be that. I'm thinking about the complete Liverpool."

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