Lisbon, Sep 30 (IANS) Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has blasted his players after a couple of defensive mistakes saw them go down 1-2 in a Champions League Group G clash away to FC Porto here.
Bras Andre and Maicon scored on either side of the break as Porto shocked the reigning English Premier League (EPL) champions 2-1 on Tuesday night. Although Willian equalised with a free-kick just before half-time, it did not prove to be enough in the end.
Mourinho was particularly riled by Porto’s opening which saw Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic being completely outfoxed by Porto midfielder Yacine Brahimi.
“For us it’s a ridiculous mistake. We watch dozens and dozens of repetitions of Porto taking corners.
“I thought we were completely ready for that. And in a moment when the game was under control and we were preparing a change, to concede that goal was like ice in the players,” Mourinho fumed after the game.
“The basic thing in football to work at is a defensive set-play. The ball is stopped, you defend the spaces or the man or both. We had another similar mistake (from a corner) when they hit the post.”
Chelsea have now suffered five defeats in 11 games in all competitions this season. They are struggling to defend their EPL title and and Mourinho’s troubles appeared to have spilled over into Europe.
The London club easily defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 in their opening group game and Chelsea might have taken a point from a hardworking Porto side. But they saw efforts either hit the woodwork or deflected wide.
Tuesday’s defeat saw the Blues drop from top to third in Group G and a defeat to Dynamo Kiev on October 20 would see their chances of reaching the knockout stage go up in smoke.
It also turned up the heat on Mourinho prior to the visit of Southampton on Saturday.
Mourinho, who decided to rest strikers Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy, was however felt that except for the mistakes which led to the two Porto goals, his side performed well at the Estádio do Dragão.
“Apart from those two ridiculous mistakes I think the performance was balanced. Defensively we had no problems and the defenders played well.
“Games like today are difficult to analyse because the result doesn’t mean you played badly. The big mistakes we made, twice, doesn’t mean that the team defended badly,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Daily Star on Wednesday.
“When you play a disaster, it’s easy to make drastic decisions. When you play like today but don’t get a result, it’s more difficult,’. “So I have to try and find a balance. We have two home matches in the Premier League and need two good results. Good feelings, happiness, self-esteem — the players need that to play,” he added.