Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho vowed to plough on attempting to resurrect his team’s desperate season despite a 3-1 home defeat by Liverpool creating yet more scrutiny of his position.
Chelsea’s Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho gestures during the UEFA Champions League Group G football match at the Dragao stadium in Porto. AFP PHOTO
Liverpool’s win, inspired by a brace from Philippe Coutinho, condemned Chelsea to their sixth defeat in 11 league games and left the reigning champions just four points above the Premier League relegation zone in 15th place.
But despite reports suggesting that he is at risk of the sack, Mourinho does not think that he has presided over his last Chelsea match and said that he would soon be turning his thoughts to Wednesday’s Champions League home game against Dynamo Kiev.
“I go home, I go to find a sad family,” he told journalists at Stamford Bridge on Saturday after being asked what the immediate future held for him.
“I will try to watch some of the rugby (World Cup final) and disconnect a little bit from this.
“Then I will start preparing the training session for tomorrow (Sunday) morning and the game for Wednesday.”
Chelsea looked to have put their recent woes behind them when Ramires celebrated his new four-year contract by heading in Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross in the fourth minute on a sunny Halloween afternoon in west London.
But Coutinho curled home a fine equaliser with his left foot in first-half stoppage time and then put Liverpool ahead in the 74th minute before substitute Christian Benteke sealed the champions’ fate.
Chelsea’s defenders stood off Coutinho and Benteke for the two late goals that decided the game, but Mourinho, who substituted Eden Hazard in the 58th minute after another off-colour display, said he was in “no doubt” that the players were still behind him.
Characteristically, he reserved his sharpest criticism for referee Mark Clattenburg, who elected not to show Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva a second yellow card for a clear trip on Ramires in the second half.
Mourinho said that he could not fully articulate his complaints for fear of being “punished by the FA”, which has already fined him for criticising referees this season, but he challenged the reporters present to shed light on the perceived injustices.
‘Are you crazy?’
“You are all intelligent guys,” said the Portuguese, whose side were also knocked out of the League Cup by Stoke City last week. “If you want to write, you write.
“Next press conference I will bring you nice glasses, maybe you see the game in a better way. Or I give you some five percent of personality so you can say what you see, you are not afraid of it.”
The focus on Mourinho took some of the attention away from Jurgen Klopp, who registered his first league victory as Liverpool manager.
The German conceded that Lucas may have been fortunate to avoid a red card, but he refused to be drawn on suggestions that Chelsea striker Diego Costa might have been sent off for kicking out at long-time nemesis Martin Skrtel.
Asked if he felt sympathy for Mourinho, the former Borussia Dortmund coach replied: “Of course I feel for him. He’s a great coach.
“I don’t think anyone in this room is in doubt that he is one of the best managers in the world. But things like this happen.
“I had a similar situation in Dortmund last year. The good thing was nobody in the club was in doubt about my position, so I never felt pressure from I don’t know where. So we could change the situation.
“The quality of the players of Chelsea, we don’t have to talk about this. Of course they change it. I feel for him, of course, but it’s work and he will change it.”
Liverpool are unbeaten in Klopp’s five games at the helm and have climbed to seventh place in the league table, but he reacted with incredulity when it was put to him that his side could challenge for the title.
“Oh please!” he replied. “Are you crazy?”