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Mourinho admits Norwich gamble; Monaco go top of Ligue 1

Chelsea F.C. manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he had to throw on Eden Hazard, Samuel Eto'o and Willian against Norwich City on Sunday.

Chelsea F.C. manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he had to throw on Eden Hazard, Samuel Eto’o and Willian against Norwich City on Sunday.

The Portuguese was forced into the move after Anthony Pilkington scored a 68th-minute equaliser for the hosts, much to the delight of the Blues’ supporters as both Hazard and Willian bagged late goals to guarantee Chelsea all three points at Carrow Road.

Despite the Blues’ slow start to the season, the West Londoners are currently just two points behind table toppers Arsenal following the Gunners’ 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

Mourinho was happy with the way his players responded to the Canaries’ equaliser, but the match did not go according to plan.

“My idea was to come here, score the first and the second and try to kill the game as fast we can,” said Mourinho.

“The players did their best and the opponents deserved to play and these teams are always difficult teams to beat. They fought hard and gave us a very difficult match.

“With the result at 1-0, they didn’t risk it; they were waiting for their chance to score a goal. They scored and after that, the game is open football but I’m not here to defend a point, I’m here to try to win so I had to risk a little bit.

“I did, but the responsibility is on the players as they’re on the pitch.”

The international break gives Mourinho two weeks to plan for the Blues’ next English Premier League match against Cardiff City on 19 October.

That’s definitely not good news for the Bluebirds (2-2-3), who are currently in 14th-place in the league table.

Monaco go top of Ligue 1

Newly-promoted AS Monaco continued their fine form with a 2-1 win over AS Saint-Étienne on Saturday.

Monaco spent over €160 million in the transfer market this summer, bringing in the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia , James Rodríguez, Jérémy Toulalan, João Moutinho and Radamel Falcao.

The French moneybags also added starting centre-back duo Éric Abidal and Ricardo Carvalho via free transfer.

It usually takes time for clubs to settle in the top flight after earning promotion or making a number of additions to the squad, but Monaco seems to be an extraordinary exception.

For this reason (and many more), Claudio Ranieri deserves a lot of credit for what he has been able to accomplish this term.

Les Rouge et Blanc (6-3-0), currently top-of-the-table, will take on strugglers Sochaux on Sunday, October 20.

Sun 6 October, 2013
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