Mourinho was also forced to the stands in the latter stages of an encounter that added to Foy's dramatic history with the Stamford Bridge club. As reported by Martin Lipton of the Mirror, the Portuguese boss suggests Foy isn't fit to take control of matches involving Chelsea:
Maybe it is helpful that the committee doesn't send him to our matches. I don't have the right to request that. It's just that I think they have to analyse the situation and see.
Every time he has Chelsea - or not every time, but many times he has Chelsea and the problems are there. I think maybe it would be a good decision.
Will Chelsea win the title?
Although rather cautious in his assertion—perhaps after receiving his marching orders for entering the pitch—Mourinho's comments are backed by statistical proof. The referee has a long history of operating against Chelsea, but there's no denying Mourinho's men were the masters of their own downfall at Villa Park.
Willian's second yellow card was extremely harsh. Prior to this, Foy correctly ruled out Nemanja Matic's goal for handball, and with seconds left, he was undoubtedly right to send off Ramires. The Brazilian's rash, studs-up tackle could have left Karim El Ahmadi with serious damage and is certainly worthy of a ban.
Mourinho's dismissal is a footnote and in keeping with protocol whenever a Premier League manager steps onto the pitch. The former Real Madrid boss shouldn't be out of his technical area, let alone on the field.
Even so, Foy holds something of a record with Chelsea, per OptaJoe:
2 - Chris Foy is the only referee to give Chelsea two red cards in a single game on two separate occasions in the Premier League. Mist.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 15, 2014
Remarkably, Mourinho acknowledged his squad spoke about Foy's antics prior to the match, per an alternate Lipton report:
My philosophy is that I never care who the ref is, I don't want to know. And if for some reason I know the referee is Mr Anthony or Mr John, I always think that the referee is a good referee, I look, always, positive.
But during the week the players were speaking about the situation and I think from now on, the next time we have Mr Foy, I have to work my people in a different way.
Although Foy is likely to become something of a hate figure for Chelsea fans, one referee has brandished reds more often during Premier League games, per BBC Sport:
"Chris Foy has now sent off six Chelsea players in the Premier League - only Mike Dean (seven) has shown more Premier League red cards to Chelsea players," reads the article.
Foy's interventions may seem consistent, but it's fair to say Chelsea players have often brought suspensions upon themselves during his matches. As noted below, it's difficult to argue against the majority of incidents which have seen players sent off under Foy's guidance, per Lipton's report:
|Date:||Chelsea opponent||Competition||Sent Off||Reason|
|Jan. 15, 2006.||Sunderland||Premier League||Arjen Robben||Second yellow for celebrating match-winner.|
|April 4, 2006.||West Ham||Premier League||Maniche||Poor tackle on Lionel Scaloni.|
|Feb. 11, 2011.||Fulham||League Cup||Alex||Foul on Karim Frei.|
|Oct. 23, 2011.||Queens Park Rangers||Premier League||Jose Bosingwa, Didier Drogba||Harsh red for Bosingwa foul, deserved red for poor Drogba challenge.|
|Feb. 23, 2013.||Swansea||League Cup||Eden Hazard||Kicking a ball boy.|
|March 15, 2014.||Aston Villa||Premier League||Willian, Ramires, Jose Mourinho.||Harsh second yellow for Willian, deserved red for terrible Ramires challenge. Mourinho sent to stands after entering pitch.|
It is likely we will witness Foy oversee another Chelsea match before too long. Mark Clattenberg regularly officiates Stamford Bridge games after being caught up in a racism row with John Obi Mikel, a far more serious incident, as reported by Kevin Palmer of ESPN FC.
Unfortunately for Mourinho, he is unable to pick and choose the referees he wishes to see. If he could, most Premier League managers would follow suit.
Chelsea's title chances may have slightly slipped off track with the defeat to Villa, but Mourinho's discussion of Foy is another smart move by the manager. Once again the media have bypassed the performance of Chelsea's players, who struggled for any momentum in the Midlands, and focused on the man in charge.
Mourinho's ability to lift pressure away from his players is smart and could pay dividends by the time the season concludes.