By Shahan Ahmed
MANCHESTER, England – With his ridiculous logic, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho quickly went from a lovable lunatic to just sounding like a lunatic.
“In the first half, the best team was winning. In the second half, the best team was Chelsea,” Mourinho started off his postmatch press conference Sunday after his Blues suffered a horribly one-sided 3-0 defeat to Manchester City, the new Premier League title favorite.
“We didn’t score,” he continued. “Just the one-nil after the second half would be an unfair result. Imagine 2-nil or imagine 3-nil.”
Has the “Special One” lost his mind? Anyone watching that match – outside of Mourinho, obviously – would confidently state that Manchester City looked like the far better side, as Chelsea struggled to create goal-scoring opportunities throughout and, truthfully, got lucky with a 3-0 loss.
Chelsea was not the better team over any segment of those 90 minutes at the Etihad Stadium, and the second half actually featured Manchester City scoring two goals to the Blues’ zero. So Mourinho’s postgame act sounded like the reading of a poorly written script.
After the match, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini responded to Mourinho’s comments that 3-0 is a “fake result” and an unfair reflection of the game by pointing out that City deserved “at least three or four goals” in the first half. Truth be told, Asmir Begovic was Chelsea’s best player in the first 45 minutes, as the backup goalkeeper (starting in place of the suspended Thibaut Courtois) made three critical saves before Sergio Aguero finally beat the Serbian shot stopper to open the scoring. Had Aguero been sharper or Begovic been less in form, the match would have never been as close as 3-0.
In a way, Mourinho was correct: Losing 3-0 did not properly reflect his team’s performance on the day. Really, it should have been 4, 5 or 6 to nil.
Instead of lamenting his Chelsea’s poor play and its inability to show the same caliber of performances that won the title a season ago, Mourinho went on to say that he believedFernandinho should have been sent off for an elbow on Diego Costa in the first half. Then, he went on to say Yaya Toure should have received a second yellow card and been sent off, though he admitted that later indecision would have likely had no impact on the final result of the match. Rather than focusing on the poor job he had done to prepare his own team throughout the week, Mourinho talked about the poor job the referee had done on the day.
Deflecting the conversation away from his team has always been a Mourinho specialty, but that ploy simply did not work this time around. The recent change in Chelsea’s medical staff appeared to be another of the Portuguese’s tactics to keep his team’s play on the pitch out of the spotlight after a lackluster outing against Swansea City. However, Mourinho’s postmatch comments on Sunday served no purpose other than to make him sound like he had entirely lost touch with reality. Chelsea had been poor in the first two rounds, and Mourinho deserved the lone point from the first two games of the season.
Can a manager that sees his team entirely dominated and beaten 3-0 over 90 minutes truly be so blind as to think that his side played better for the entire second half? If Mourinho is not simply acting, then he might have truly lost it.