Neil Warnock says referee was influenced by Chelsea players

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Warnock unhappy with officials

Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock says referee Craig Pawson was "influenced" by Chelsea players during the Blues' 2-1 win at Selhurst Park.

Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta was dismissed for a two-footed challenge three minutes before Palace's Damien Delaney was also sent off.

Warnock said: "The one thing I've not missed when I've been doing media work is refereeing performances like that.

"I thought he was influenced today. He had four Chelsea players around him."

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"I don't think Neil Warnock or any manager has the right to tell his players whether or not to shake the referee's hand. For a manager to go on the pitch and do that is disgusting. The manager should be taking the lead on behaviour of his players."

Delaney had already been booked for a foul on Loic Remy when he tangled with the France striker and was shown a second yellow card.

Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and Oscar approached referee Pawson as he dismissed Delaney, whom Warnock claimed after the game he had planned to substitute.

"I was just about to put Adrian Mariappa on," said Warnock.

"For the second booking Remy dives and then you have four Chelsea players surrounding the referee. I thought those days were gone - banned.

"I think the four lads around him made his mind up for him.

"I don't think the referee has a defence. I don't really want to talk about him. All things being even, I thought we would have got a result."

Goals from Oscar and Fabregas gave Chelsea victory at Selhurst Park, with Fraizer Campbell netting a late consolation for Palace.

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