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'
|Ronaldo: Pepe was the best player at the Euros, not Griezmann|
|Schweinsteiger: Manchester United my last club in Europe|
|Dante sees Nice as a positive move|
|Pique: Barcelona by far the best in Spain|
|Pique backs Stones for success under Pep|
|Coleman dismisses Premier League talk|
|Spurs want Calhanoglu, claims agent|
|Bony an ´option´ for Bilic|
|Leverkusen cannot challenge Bayern, says Ballack|
|Pallotta blasts ´disgusting´ referee after Roma defeat|
|Badstuber taking his time after injury nightmare|
|Conte: Terry return between him and Allardyce|
|We beat Bayern to Dembele - Watzke|
|Wanderers bring back Bulut|
|Moyes rules out Kone exit|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Whitecaps, Pachuca win big|
|Bale: I´ll never forget this year|
|Griezmann: I deserve Best Player in Europe Award|
|No surgery for Ayew as West Ham target December return|
|Villarreal did all they could to make it through - Escriba|
|Spalletti rues lack of Roma discipline|
|Conte: Chelsea must learn to kill matches|
|Watford and West Brom crash out of League Cup|
|My longest 90 minutes as a coach - Rodgers|
|AFC Champions League: Goalless draws leave quarter-finals on a knife edge|
|Klopp hopeful over Can injury|
|Champions League play-offs: Nine-man Roma crash out as Monaco edge Villarreal|
|Henderson hails ´outstanding´ Mane after Burton thrashing|
|Chelsea 3 Bristol Rovers 2: Conte´s side survive scare thanks to Batshuayi double|
|Hapoel Be´er Sheva 2 Celtic 0 (4-5 agg): Visitors survive Israeli scare|
|Burton Albion 0 Liverpool 5: Sturridge at the double in Reds rout|
|Leverkusen sign Austria star Dragovic|
|Sakho in the clear as WADA opt against appeal|
|Enyimba 3 Mamelodi Sundowns 1: Udoh brace secures CAF Champions League win|
|Pulisic and Ramos on target as Dortmund wrap up Bundesliga preparations|
|Calleri hoping for Tevez advice|
|Defour hoping for Belgium recall|
|Alaba warns against complacency as Bayern begin Bundesliga defence|
|Bravo arrives in Manchester ahead of City move|
|Dyche backs Gray after striker´s apology for homophobic tweets|
|Gray charged by FA over homophobic tweets|
|Pique: Olympic gold proves Neymar is one of world´s best|
|Marin makes Olympiacos move|
|Zidane arrival the catalyst for one of my best seasons - Ronaldo|
|Moyes ´worried´ about Mannone elbow injury|
|Sidibe rejected Arsenal over playing-time fears|
|Guardiola: Toure could feature against Steaua|
|Hernandez out for two weeks after falling down stairs|
|Bravo nearing City move, admits Guardiola|
|Ballack impressed by Dortmund signings but still backing Bayern|
|Lucescu questions De Boer tactics|
|Milan reject Chelsea bid for Romagnoli|
|Dortmund know how to treat Gotze - Ballack|
|Shevchenko: Bacca must improve consistency|
|´If you heed 100 idiots you will go crazy´ - Bauza on Messi return|
|Valdano relieved over Messi U-turn|
|Nordfeldt in line for loan move after signing fresh Swans deal|
|Dante joins Nice from Wolfsburg|
|De Boer expects fierce fight for Barca number-one spot|
|Newell´s confident over Messi return|
|Stoke confirm Jones interest|
|MLS ´attractive´ to Rooney - Timbers owner|
|Burke re-signs with West Ham|
|Sassuolo rejected Balotelli - CEO|
|Valencia coach Ayestaran rules out Mustafi sale|
|Allardyce plans Guardiola talks over Hart|
|Cahill warns rivals over City attack|
|Allardyce open to Terry England return|
|Drogba dismisses Villa rumours|
|Tuchel pleased despite Dortmund wastefulness|
|Stam´s Reading sign Manchester United youngster Blackett|
|Champions League place main objective for Rodgers|
|Eintracht Trier 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Kagawa at the double as Tuchel´s men stroll|
|Escriba urges cool heads in Monaco|
|Cherchesov sets bar high for Russia|
|Tite defends Neymar´s captaincy credentials|
|Ancelotti wowed by fit-again Martinez|
|Spalletti: If Roma players are afraid, I don´t want them|
|Klopp laments Origi´s absent rhythm|
|Barcelona let Neymar stay in Brazil ahead of qualifiers|
|De Jong brothers joins forces at PSV|
|Rudiger returns to training|
|Liverpool transfer talk frustrates Klopp|
|Klopp demands final third improvements|
|Everton loan Galloway to West Brom|
|Manchester United loan Borthwick-Jackson to Wolves|
|Braithwaite to snub Premier League interest to stay at Toulouse|
|Strachan leaves out McCormack, Rhodes|
|Napoli plan to limit media commitments|
|Taarabt eager to make Marseille switch|
|Kruse suffers knee ligament injury|
|Rummenigge expects Ribery to be targeted|
|Delaney: Benteke is not Messi, he needs service|
|Ballack urges patience with Pep over City project|
|James happy at Real Madrid - Zidane|
|Harper backs Phelan for permanent Hull role|
|Flexibility the key for Allardyce|
|Allardyce concerned over Hart situation|
|De Bruyne praises Sterling reaction|
|Cavani vows to improve strike rate|
|Britton signs Swansea extension|
|Higuain motivated by ´fat´ comments|
|Conte perplexed by Costa criticism|
|Drinkwater poised to sign new Leicester contract|
|Bobo completes Sydney move|
|Bilic: You can´t count on Carroll|
|MLS Review: Dempsey´s Sounders sink rivals Timbers|
|Zidane: Important year for Bale|
|Galaxy star Rogers alleges homophobic abuse|
|Vieira: Pogba just needs to be himself|
|Bacca: I made a promise to Milan|
|Angry Handanovic critical of Inter|
|Gameiro: Atletico must win at home|
|Klopp: I´d be an idiot if I made a panic buy|
|Simeone: Draw leaves a bad taste in my mouth|
|Montella: Milan must win back fans|
|Asensio revels in goalscoring LaLiga debut for Madrid|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Alaves 1: Hosts denied in dramatic finale|