Jose Mourinho gave a post-match briefing seemingly laced with sarcasm after Chelsea suffered a shock 2-1 Premier League loss to Sunderland.
Table-topping Liverpool can go five points clear of Chelsea with a win at Norwich City tomorrow, meaning Brendan Rodgers' team would hold all the aces ahead of next weekend's crunch clash between the teams at Anfield.
Samuel Eto'o gave Chelsea a 12th-minute lead at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but Connor Wickham hauled bottom-placed Sunderland level shortly after.
Eto'o and Demba Ba were guilty of missing chances before referee Mike Dean adjudged Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta to have fouled Jozy Altidore in the area with eight minutes remaining.
Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini duly converted from the spot and, parroting lines from a tempestuous and brief appearance on Sky Sports after the final whistle, Mourinho went on to offer “congratulations” to Dean and Mike Riley - the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, which is responsible for appointing referees to Premier League matches.
"I will not wait for questions," Mourinho began after seeing his 77-match unbeaten run in home league games at Stamford Bridge come to an end.
"I'm so sorry about it but in a quick four points I can say everything that I want to say so we are not going to waste time because every question you can ask me I will answer exactly the same way.
"So we stick with four quick points. The first point is to congratulate my players. They did everything they could. They fought and played from the first to the last second.
"I think they deserve that. Sometimes we praise the players when we win. I think it's fair to praise my players after a defeat.
"Secondly, congratulations to Sunderland. It doesn't matter how or why or in which way they won, but they won. They won the three points.
"It's three fantastic points for them so I think it's also fair to congratulate them.
"The third point, I want to congratulate again but this time it is Mike Dean.
"His performance was unbelievable and I think when referees they have unbelievable performances I think it is fair also that as managers we give them this.
"He came here with one objective - the objective of a fantastic performance and he did that.
"Fourth, I think it is also fair - congratulations to Mike Riley because he is the referee's boss and what they are doing during the whole season is fantastic, especially in the last couple of months, especially in matches involving the teams that were in the title race.
"It is absolutely fantastic so I congratulate Mr Mike Riley. Thank you."
Mourinho was sent to the stands by referee Chris Foy after entering the field of play during Chelsea's 1-0 loss at Aston Villa last month and was subsequently fined £8,000 by the Football Association for his conduct.
|Coach: José Mourinho|
for Oscar 59'
for Mohamed Salah 66'
for S. Eto'o 74'
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Estudiantes advance, Deportivo Cali poised|
|Queiroz signs new Iran contract|
|Sousa confident of Basel improvement|
|Villas-Boas heaps praise on Zenit|
|Jardim: ´We were superior´|
|Ludogorets upbeat after Anfield heartbreak|
|Michel lauds Atletico-like tactics|
|Simeone rues ´very negative´ result|
|Gutierrez diagnosed with testicular cancer|
|Championship Review: Norwich go top, Cardiff lose again|
|Galatasaray´s fighting spirit delights Prandelli|
|Hareide proud of Malmo display|
|Wenger: Dortmund worthy winners|
|Rodgers revels in winning return|
|Pereira calls for calm at Benfica|
|Hasi rues Anderlecht´s inexperience|
|Bellarabi critical of Leverkusen finishing|
|Bale: We showed what we´re made of|
|Koke targets Juve after Olympiacos setback|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Tough test for Inter, Sevilla host Feyenoord|
|Allegri demands more from Juve|
|Klopp revels in Dortmund ´perfection´|
|League One Review: Sheffield United comeback stuns Colchester, Doyle stars for Chesterfield|
|League Two Review: Burton beaten, Exeter and Oxford claim first wins|
|Gerrard demands better from Liverpool|
|Galatasaray 1 Anderlecht 1: Gala playing catch-up despite late leveller|
|Liverpool 2 Ludogorets 1: Gerrard spot on for hosts|
|Benfica 0 Zenit 2: Hulk helps Zenit make flying start|
|Juventus 2 Malmo 0: Tevez ends Champions League drought to seal win|
|Olympiacos 3 Atletico Madrid 2: Spanish champions stunned by clinical hosts|
|Monaco 1 Bayer Leverkusen 0: Moutinho marks winning return for Monaco|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Arsenal 0: Immobile and Aubameyang sink visitors|
|Real Madrid 5 Basel 1: Hosts begin title defence with dominant victory|
|Al Hilal 3 Al Ain 0: Al-Shamrani dazzles in frantic first leg|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Al Ain start with win, Jorginho´s Al Wasl held|
|Al Qadsia 4 Persipura 2: Subotic double gives Al Qadsia the upper hand|
|Everton v Wolfsburg: Martinez eyes next phase of development|
|Time to prove quality - Blanc|
|Lopetegui wary of BATE|
|Schalke dealt Howedes blow|
|Dnipro v Inter: Guarin backs confident Inter|
|Mourinho belittles Europa League|
|Kompany: Time for City to close the gap|
|Lucescu opens up about Shakhtar challenges|
|Ribery out of Champions League clash|
|SFA to investigate Tonev allegations|
|Erbil 1 Kitchee 1: Belencoso gives Kitchee the edge|
|Partizan v Tottenham: Captain Kaboul reports for duty|
|Slomka sacked by Hamburg|
|Garcia not taking CSKA threat lightly|
|Hutton signs new Villa contract|
|Riga set for Blackpool stay|
|De Boer hoping to spring surprise|
|Milanov: De Rossi absence gives CSKA a chance|
|Pique reads nothing into Barca omission|
|Van Basten to step down to assistant role|
|Amat out for six weeks|
|Mourinho confirms Hazard talks|
|Luis Enrique: Champions League not a priority|
|Williams: Swansea learned Chelsea lessons|
|Vargas wants ´long-term´ QPR stay|
|Liverpool are no Champions League tourists, insists Rodgers|
|FIFA temporarily relieve Watson of duties|
|City do not fear Bayern - Milner|
|Everton to explore stadium plans|
|Gardner calls for fans´ support|
|Zidane: Benzema must score|
|Scholes: Liverpool are Champions League dark horses|
|Gerrard hopes for prolific Balotelli|
|Gervinho pens new Roma deal|
|Rodgers praises vice-captain Henderson|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: Independiente goalkeeper bags brace|
|Costa Rican Primera Division Review: Cartagines back to winning ways|
|Ronaldo to United a possibility, says Neville|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Review: Bolivar go top, Blooming slip up|
|Souness throws support behind Pardew|
|Allardyce targets defensive improvement|
|Bruce: Hernandez worth the wait|
|Ecuadorian Primera A Review: Barcelona win El Clasico del Astillero|
|Davies: Draw a fair result|
|Noble rues West Ham´s close shave|
|Klopp cautious with Kagawa|
|Eibar 0 Deportivo La Coruna 1: Dominguez earns Fernandez first win|
|Hull City 2 West Ham 2: Debutants star in KC drama|
|Verona 2 Palermo 1: Pisano own goal seals home win|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Fener, Gala and Besiktas all held|
|Roma v CSKA Moscow: Garcia ready to recall attacking stars|
|Van Basten to return to AZ following leave of absence|
|Olympiacos will be toughest tie - Simeone|
|Porto v BATE: Sandro in line for return as Porto seek strong start|
|Calhanoglu pledges to attack off-colour Monaco|
|Malmo have advantage over Juventus - Hareide|
|Chambers´ tonsillitis adds to Arsenal defensive woes|
|Hasi: No expectations for Anderlecht|
|Verratti extends PSG contract|
|Bayern Munich v Manchester City: Kompany urges belief|
|Prandelli calls on fans to voice their backing|
|Michel wary of Atletico prowess|
|Double fitness boost for Everton|
|Barcelona v APOEL: Pedro expecting tough test|
|Vidal and Pirlo to miss Malmo clash|
|Maribor v Sporting Lisbon: Slovenians end 15-year wait|
|Athletic Bilbao v Shakhtar Donetsk: Muniain eyes home comforts|
|Rodgers ready to embrace Champions League challenge|
|Milan confirm injuries to Lopez and Alex|
|Ajax v Paris Saint-Germain: Away form not a concern, says Van der Wiel|
|Experience the key for Monaco boss Jardim|
|Anelka joins Mumbai|
|Chelsea v Schalke: Costa aims to maintain prolific form|
|Ancelotti seeks response against Basel|
|Zaha not giving up on United and England future|
|Garcia to miss Blackpool game with chest pains|
|Lambert keen to keep Villa grounded|
|Adebayor wants ruthless streak|
|Lahm not missing Kroos|
|Begovic unconcerned by Stoke inconsistency|
|United duo lavish praise on Di Maria|
|Rami targets starting berth|
|Wilshere prefers advanced role|
|Calderon: Ronaldo disillusioned at Real|
|Ferdinand: Moyes´ tactics were embarrassing|
|I never meant to disrespect Southampton - Schneiderlin|
|I never meant to disrespect Southampton - Schneiderlin|
|Howard: Lukaku wants to be world´s best|
|Bielsa remaining tight-lipped over Labrune talks|
|Mourinho salutes Costa character|
|Bruce makes plea to Hull fans|
|Foster slams ´pathetic´ Brunt abuse|
|Donadoni rues errors in Milan loss|
|Seoul v Western Sydney Wanderers: A-League side eye away win|
|Colombian Primera A Review: Once Caldas go top|
|Venezuelan Primera Division Review: Deportivo Tachira continue unbeaten run|
|Copa Sudamericana Preview: Boca Juniors, River Plate hold narrow leads|
|Uruguayan Primera Division Review: Racing go clear at top|
|Chilean Primera Division Review: President, coach clash doesn´t derail Colo Colo|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Melgar, Universitario remain undefeated|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Sao Paulo beat leaders|
|Paraguayan Division Profesional Review: Nacional Asuncion win again|
|San Jose Earthquakes 1 Los Angeles Galaxy 1: Keane´s penalty miss proves costly|
|Milan progression encourages Inzaghi|