Jose Mourinho was subjected to abusive chants from the Chelsea supporters in the closing stages of the FA Cup quarter-final clash, which Chelsea won 1-0, at the Stamford Bridge on Monday. Following a late challenge by Antonio Valencia on Marcos Alonso, Mourinho and Antonio Conte got involved in a battle of words on the sidelines and had to be separated by the officials.
After the incident, the Chelsea supporters abused Mourinho from the stands, who simply responded by holding up three fingers – indicating the three Premier League titles he had won with the Blues.
Later, Mourinho hit back at the Chelsea supporters, reminding them of the fact that he still remains the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history.
“They can call what they want. I am a professional. I defend my club and until the moment they have a manager that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I am the number one.
“When they have someone who wins four titles, I become number two. But until this moment, Judas is number one,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by Skysports after the game.
In what was an emotional, and unsuccessful, return to the Stamford Bridge, Mourinho was pleased with how he controlled his emotions during the game and praised his players for putting up a good fight for the 90 minutes despite their long trip to Russia for their Europa League clash against Rostov on Thursday.
“I managed to control my emotions and reactions – and that’s good because this way I can be on the bench the next match. My players, they need me.
“It’s better for me to be close to them so I think it was good for me to control it. I’m in the game and I communicated with my players and the fourth official. Nothing more than that.
“I’m really proud of my players. After Thursday in Rostov, with Rostov again on Thursday, I’m proud of the guys. Mr. Oliver, goes home and can do his own analysis, because I don’t want to analyse his work,” Mourinho said, reported Skysports.
While Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante scored the winning goal of the game in the 51st minute of the match, the biggest turning point of the encounter arrived in the first half when Ander Herrera received his marching orders for his second bookable offense of the game.
Eden Hazard was stretching the United defense with his runs and skills, and Herrera was left frustrated chasing his shadow. The Spaniard received his first yellow card in the 20th minute for a foul on the Chelsea star and 15 minutes later, he brought down the Belgian once again, after Hazard beat him with a delightful turn, to receive his second yellow card of the game.
Mourinho felt that the dynamics of the game changed completely after that decision from the referee Michael Oliver. Chelsea ended up having 72.6% ball possession in the game along with 10 shots on target. If not for David de Gea’s brilliance in the goal, the scoreline could have easily been embarrassing for the visitors on the night.
“We all saw the game and we can have different opinions and perspectives, but I think we all have to agree that there was a match until the moment Herrera saw the red card. It was another match after that.
“Before that, I saw a game with the feeling that I was going to win, because everything was under control and the frustration was evident because they couldn’t play the way they always play.
“With 10 men it was very difficult for us because our strategy was to play with two players up front, and when you have two players up front the three central defenders couldn’t come forward with the ball.
“They were kicking long balls, they were kicking bad long balls outside of the pitch and then when we have one player less, they went for three against one and could bring the ball forward and be more dominant,” Mourinho added, reported Skysports.
Image – EPA