Colourful Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has dismissed his ‘stupid’ critics after defensive displays put his side in title-winning positions.
Chelsea are considered third in the queue for the Premier League title, but are well and truly mathematically capable of winning it – after a defensive masterclass saw them stifle Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield on Sunday.
The result severely hampered the Reds’ title ambitions, with Manchester City now holding their fate in their own hands with three matches to play.
Mourinho’s Blues would require dropped points from both City and Liverpool, combined with winning their final two matches, however, it was not just their Anfield performance that has drawn criticism.
Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg away at Atletico Madrid ended goalless, and pundits have weighed in on the Portuguese tactician’s seemingly negative mindset.
But Mourinho – ahead of their second leg against Atletico at Stamford Bridge – simply said he was playing to his side’s strengths, and he would make no apology for doing so.
“You know, at this moment, football is full of philosophers – people who understand much more than me, people with fantastic theories and philosophies,” Mourinho said.
“It’s amazing. But the reality is always the reality: A team that doesn’t defend well or doesn’t score lots of goals, if they concede lots of goals, is completely in trouble. A team without balance is not a team.
“When they have the ball, we have to try and stop them scoring. When we have the ball, we want to try and score. This is football – the football that I know.
“I remember saying in my first period here, if you have a goalkeeper like Petr Cech who puts the ball in the opponents’ box, and a striker like Didier Drogba who wins everything in the air, why play short? Because you are stupid?
“If your opponents are very fast on the counter and want space behind your defensive line, if you give them that space you are stupid.”
Mourinho’s Chelsea went in undermanned at Anfield, missing John Terry, Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o, but the trio are fit for their European semi.
One of the critics to lay the boot into Mourinho was Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, who claimed Chelsea ‘parked two buses’ in their league clash.
But Mourinho said his former assistant at Stamford Bridge contacted him later to congratulate him, and it was the latter that he accepted.
“Brendan is somebody I consider my friend. I know what he said after the match, but I also know his words today,” Mourinho said.
“He told me congratulations for a great victory and a great performance. So, because I consider him a friend, someone I like, I prefer to forget his words after the match and keep today’s words.
“Brendan is an intelligent guy. He watched the match for sure on video and, now, I think he understood what happened.”