Friday 19 January 2018

Jose Mourinho: Chelsea were as bad as I've ever seen them in the first half against Newcastle

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho talks with the fourth official Andre Marriner
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho talks with the fourth official Andre Marriner

Jose Mourinho branded Chelsea’s first-half performance at Newcastle as the worst of his reign after seeing them fight back to snatch a 2-2 Premier League draw.

The Portuguese gave his team a “minus one out of 10” rating for their first 45 minutes at St James’ Park and blamed individual errors for gifting the Magpies 2-0 lead.

Asked if that was as badly as the Blues had played under him, Mourinho (right) said: “Yes, for sure.

“I have played so many matches with Chelsea over seven years and we have had some bad performances. I remember one at Middlesbrough in 2005, 2006, something like that, we were losing at half-time 3-0, so we have had a few.

“But this first half, I can rate as one of those performances, yes. I put it down to awful individual performances. When you have so many bad individual performances, it’s impossible for a team to be a team.”

Newcastle forced their way ahead - and deservedly so - three minutes before the break when Ayoze Perez took advantage of indecisive defending to volley home from Vurnon Anita’s cross, and when Georginio Wijnaldum headed home Perez’s 60th-minure corner, a fourth successive home win over the Blues looked to be on the cards. However, Mourinho quickly shuffled his pack and two of his substitutes did the trick when Ramires reduced the deficit with a 79th-minute piledriver and Willian levelled direct from a free-kick with just four minutes remaining.

The Chelsea boss is yet to win a league game on Tyneside and had lost on his previous three visits, and that led him to question Newcastle’s mentality.

He said: “I think maybe one of the reasons why Newcastle over the years doesn’t get good positions is because of this mentality, it’s because they choose some matches to sweat blood and in other matches, they don’t. This is an attitude typical of a team that wins nothing. It’s bad for them because if they play like this, they win many matches at home, and they don’t. But this is their problem. I think they deserved a point the way they fought.”

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