Monday 22 January 2018

Mourinho: 'We're boring? At least our wait is over now'

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho speaks with Eden Hazard
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho speaks with Eden Hazard

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho laughed off the Arsenal crowd's "boring" jibes by reminding the Gunners of their wait for the Premier League title as his side closed in on the trophy.

The Blues need five more points to be crowned Premier League champions for the first time in five years, but were jeered in the goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium for a stubborn performance which frustrated Arsenal, who last won the title in 2003-04.

"You know, I think boring is 10 years without a title. That's very boring," said Mourinho, who criticised Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for not doing more to win the game.

"You support the club and you're waiting, waiting, waiting for so many years without a Premier League title, so that's very boring.

"But maybe they were not singing to us. Maybe, when you want to win a game and you're at home and you take your number nine (Olivier Giroud) off, maybe the home fans want more.

"Maybe they want to play Giroud and (Danny) Welbeck together up front to try to win the game."

Told Chelsea will not be loved by neutrals for the way they have sacrificed their artistic approach for a more methodical one, as Mourinho revealed on Friday, the Blues boss scarcely cared.

"I have lots of love," Mourinho said.

"No problem. If you (the media) tell the truth, people will fall in love with us.

"But you have to tell the truth. If you say the truth, you will walk in the street and people will blow kisses at us."

The draw felt like a win for Mourinho, whose side could be champions within a week by winning at Leicester on Wednesday and beating Crystal Palace at home next Sunday.

"It's one point. It leaves five," added Mourinho, who declined the opportunity to expand on Chelsea being denied two penalties in the first half.

"If we'd won today we'd need three. If we'd lost today we'd need eight.

"This point is like almost three points, because you don't need eight, you need five.

"It's a positive result... a fair result, if you forget the penalties. And I want to forget the penalties because I think the referee (Michael Oliver) had a very good performance."

Asked how he would like Chelsea to be remembered as champions, Mourinho said: "First of all, we need to be champions. We need to win the five points to be champions.

"If we do that - and I think we are going to do that - we will be champions being top of the league since day one.

"Being top of the league since day one, only top teams can do that."

Oscar, who began the match as Chelsea's most advanced player as Mourinho opted against fielding a recognised striker, was clattered by Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina in the first half and might have had a penalty.

The Brazil playmaker left for hospital at half-time and was replaced by Didier Drogba for the second half, but Mourinho did not know if Oscar has concussion.

"He went to hospital at half-time. I don't know (if it is concussion), we are waiting," the Portuguese said.

Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker admitted it had been one of those days.

"It's difficult to explain. We had chances and defended well. Performance wise it was a good one but not enough to get the vital points we needed."

For Mourinho, Terry was the star of the show.

"I told John, in the six years with me, that is the best I have seen from him. He was absolutely amazing."

"It's a point; we are in the countdown to the champions."

Chelsea had a number of penalty appeals turned down, including one when ex-Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas was booked for simulation.

Mourinho has been outspoken on refereeing at this season, but refused to be critical this time.

"I don't comment," he said. "You have the screen, the technology, the repetitions, the pundits to analyse. I don't want to analyse, I prefer to look at the performance and say the referee's performance was good.

"Imagine if John Terry makes a mistake; his performance would still be amazing even with a mistake and I think the referee had a very good performance, with a couple of mistakes."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: "I think we had a performance we wanted, in the first half we had the right intensity but in the dangerous areas we lacked the right decisions.

"In the final 20 minutes we had dangerous situations again and some regrets. Overall it was a game when teams defended well.

"We have progressed very well and improved a lot since the start of the season."


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