Jose accepts Ramires card

Streatham Guardian: Jose Mourinho had no issue with Ramires' booking Jose Mourinho had no issue with Ramires' booking

Jose Mourinho accepted Ramires' yellow card for diving but refused to condemn the Brazil midfielder after the latest incident of simulation involving a Chelsea player.

The Blues claimed a routine 2-0 FA Cup third-round win at Derby, with goals from John Obi Mikel and Oscar sandwiching a booking for Ramires doled out by Andre Marriner.

Referee Marriner had in November controversially awarded Chelsea a penalty in the home draw with West Brom - after a contested fall by Ramires - which Eden Hazard converted to preserve Mourinho's unbeaten Premier League home record.

There was no direct impact on the result on this occasion, but the incident placed doubt on Mourinho's claim that "there are no divers at Chelsea" following Oscar's booking in the New Year's Day win at Southampton.

Mourinho, who criticised Luis Suarez as an "acrobatic swimming pool" diver following last Sunday's win over Liverpool, said: "I maintain (there are no divers at Chelsea). Isolated episodes. The referees attacking it. The manager supporting the referees. I think we are doing well. Let's see if the others do the same as us."

Mourinho accepted Oscar's explanation for going down at St Mary's Stadium - the playmaker suggested he thought he would be wiped out by goalkeeper Kelvin Davis - and was yet to speak to Ramires in the immediate aftermath of the match.

He did not watch a replay of the incident, but accepted Marriner's decision as correct.

"Marriner was so close so if he made that decision it's because he's right," added Mourinho, who will talk to Ramires.

"The last time Oscar's justification was completely correct and I understand completely what happened.

"I was happy with the card because the referee, in this case (Martin) Atkinson, did well.

"This time I didn't speak yet with Ramires, but if the referee was there and he decide well, perfect. Let's do every game, every stadium, every player, let's do that."

Mourinho is adamant Chelsea's players do not dive and pointed a finger elsewhere in the Premier League to players who are regular offenders.

"In other clubs there are really (sic) divers and they are not booked," Mourinho added.

"Players are doing that every weekend. Sit in front of the television and you will find them."

Mourinho has condemned diving in recent weeks and believes it is being outlawed in England, but he is concerned about continental competition.

He added: "I know that English teams will be punished in European competitions because in this country, and well, we are all fighting against it.

"And we go to the Champions League and to the Europa League, we get referees from other countries, referees from other cultures, we get players without this education that we all are trying to do.

"In (the) Champions League and Europa League something against English teams will happen."

Derby boss Steve McClaren said he did not see the incident, which saw Ramires go down under the challenge of Michael Keane, as he was moving from the stand to the touchline at the time.

McClaren said: "I didn't quite see it. That happens. The pitch was slippy, maybe he just fell over."

Chelsea's 16th successive third-round triumph - their last loss at this stage was in 1998 against Manchester United - proved challenging and set up a fourth-round home tie with Stoke.

The Rams had won 10 and lost just two of their prior 15 games under former England boss McClaren and were difficult to break down.

But Mikel headed in his fourth Chelsea goal on his 300th appearance, after ending a near-seven year drought in September with his first Premier League goal against Fulham, after 66 minutes and Oscar added a second soon afterwards.

It was a third Chelsea goal in FA Cup ties for Mikel, who became captain when Michael Essien was substituted in the second half.

Mourinho, who signed the Nigeria midfielder during his first spell, said: "It was important for us, because we were dominating and dominating, creating and creating, but the goal was not arriving. It was like the winning goal.

"He plays in a very intelligent and safe way. I never recognise his goalscoring appetite.

"For some reason Essien gave him the armband. Normally it should go to Ashley Cole. It made him believe that he was a goalscorer."

Oscar's goal sealed victory, but Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant might have done better with the shot at his near post.

McClaren said: "(I) couldn't be more proud of them. We played against one of the best teams, not just in the Premier League, but in Europe.

"(We) started the game well, finished the game well, just that five-minute spell, with the two goals, were the disappointment of the afternoon."

The focus for Derby, who are in the Sky Bet Championship play-off places, now returns to their promotion bid.

McClaren knows the gap between the elite and the next level is increasing, but it is not yet too big a concern.

He added: "The gap is getting bigger, but teams, (but) you worry about it when you get there. "You saw today that the difference in level is huge. Their front four are quality players, but they pay a tidy sum for them.

"We're just getting young players and developing them."

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