Sunday 21 January 2018

Jose Mourinho: We deserved to be punished

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho will search for answers after admitting his Chelsea side crumbled under pressure in tumbling out of the Champions League to Paris St Germain on Wednesday night.

The Blues twice allowed 10-man PSG to come from behind to draw 2-2 and win an ill-tempered last-16 tie on away goals at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho was scathing in his assessment of his players, whose spirits he must raise for Sunday's clash with Southampton as the Blues resume their bid for a first Premier League title in five years.

"We didn't deserve to go through," Mourinho said. "When a team cannot defend two corners and concedes two goals, a team doesn't deserve to win.

READ MORE: PSG burst Chelsea's bubble after battle at the Bridge 

"The individual performances were not good enough and when you concede two goals from two corners it's about lack of concentration, lack of responsibility to cope with the markers and the space you have to control.

"When a team cannot cope with the pressure of being one player more and playing at home... we couldn't cope with that pressure.

"We deserved to be punished with this draw, defeat."

The first leg was drawn 1-1 and Chelsea's advantage grew when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was harshly sent off after 31 minutes.

Gary Cahill's strike nine minutes from the end of normal time was cancelled out by former Chelsea defender David Luiz, but the hosts went ahead for a second time through an Eden Hazard penalty early in extra time.

PSG captain Thiago Silva, who conceded the spot-kick for handball, was denied from a corner by Thibaut Courtois but then netted with a header moments later to make it 2-2 on the night and send the visitors through.

It was highly unusual to see Chelsea concede two set-piece goals, while PSG showed greater urgency throughout.

The French side exited the competition last term to Chelsea on the away goals rule, but advanced to the last eight for a third straight season.

There is the distinct possibility of no English presence in the quarter-final draw on March 20, unless Arsenal and Manchester City can overturn deficits next week.

All Chelsea have to focus on is the Premier League.

The Capital One Cup winners are five points clear of second-placed City with a game in hand.

Mourinho will seek an explanation for the sub-par performance by his side ahead of the final 11 games of the campaign.

"I want to know," he said. "I told the players after the game that it's not the moment to speak with them about it. (On Thursday) we will try to analyse that.

"For me it was a surprise. So I'm disappointed, but I try always to be pragmatic and when the opponent was better than us the first feeling is we deserved to lose. Analyse the situation is the next step.

"We need to react. We have the Premier League to win. There's no time to cry.

"If we win the Premier League and Capital One Cup, this season is still a fantastic season for us."

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