Sunday 17 December 2017

'PSG are too physical' - Jose Mourinho cries foul as battle of Bridge awaits

Jose: PSG too physical even for English team

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho says Paris St Germain are the most aggressive side Chelsea have played this season.

The Blues boss was frustrated at PSG's persistent fouling in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie three weeks ago, which was drawn 1-1.

Mourinho believes the expensively-assembled French side were more aggressive than League Two Shrewsbury, League One Bradford and all the other sides Chelsea have played this term.

"With players of such quality I was expecting more football and less aggression," he said.

"I thought an English team would never be surprised by aggression. In that game I was surprised, because a team with fantastic players was a team with the record of fouls, was the team that was making foul after foul, was the team that stopped (Eden) Hazard with fouls all the time."

PSG were on top for much of the first leg at Parc des Princes, but Chelsea emerged level with Branislav Ivanovic's crucial away goal.

Mourinho bristled when asked about PSG's dominance.

He said: "What is dominate? If dominate is the number of chances, yes, Paris had more chances than us.

"If dominate is to stop the opponent to play, making foul after foul, yes they also dominate. If dominate is to have the ball and to move the ball without progression, yes, they also dominate.

"I think they dominate in everything except in the result."

Chelsea had to win last season's quarter-final tie after a 3-1 first-leg deficit and prevailed on away goals when Demba Ba netted a last-gasp goal for a 2-0 home win.

READ MORE: PSG boss Laurent Blanc calls on players to 'take some risks' in Chelsea clash

Now the Blues are seeking to advance to the last eight and progress at PSG's expense once more, with Mourinho insisting victory is the target.

"Losing 3-1 you are on the limit of the risk. We knew that if we concede one goal, you are in big trouble," he added. "We knew that we had to score a minimum of two. The result has a complete balance, but we are going to try to win."

Mourinho refused to comment on PSG counterpart Laurent Blanc's appraisal of Diego Costa, the striker who the Frenchman said will provoke the visitors. "I don't want to comment on his words. His words are his words," Mourinho said.

Chelsea have already won one trophy this season after beating Tottenham in the League Cup final.

Mourinho believes the League Cup success - his first of his second spell at Stamford Bridge - means nothing with regard to the Champions League.

"The League Cup doesn't change (anything)," Mourinho added.

"The game tomorrow is important. If you lose, the competition finishes.

"It's different than in the Premier League where you have 38 matches to play. It's as important as the game against Bradford. We lost, the FA Cup finished for us. Everybody knows tomorrow a very good team will finish the Champions League."

Chelsea have Nemanja Matic available again following a two-match ban and an ankle injury sustained while celebrating at Wembley, when he changed from his club suit into full kit to join his team-mates on the pitch.

Mourinho said: "I told him that we won two very important matches without him. Maybe he's not so important. He was laughing.

"It's also the reality that he's very important for us.

"We're happy that he's back. He's fit to play."

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