Jose Mourinho, as he reflected on Saturday’s home defeat, had three initial thoughts on the match, the order of importance of which he made clear.
Optimism was high for a late winner against Crystal Palace after Falcao’s first Chelsea goal levelled up the away side’s second-half opener, but the south Londoners rapidly restored their lead and hung on with the resolute defending they had shown throughout…
‘My first thought is to Palace,’ began Mourinho. ‘They came with everything, their team was ready, their players were ready and they came with a fantastic spirit. They were lucky but they deserved the luck, they fought a lot for that.
‘Secondly my team, I think we deserved more. I am not saying we deserved to win because it is not true, but we deserved more than the result we got.
‘And my third thought is the referee made a big mistake, a clear penalty [not given] for the foul on Zouma with the score 0-0. In the game for me it looked clear and at half-time I watched it on television and it was a clear penalty, unless the pundits who can see the red cards for John Terry and Thibaut Courtois see it differently from me.
‘But I prefer to go in this order and when I say Crystal Palace first it is because they are the most important thing [regarding the result].’
Mourinho was not happy that a lack of good individual displays made it difficult for the team to do well overall…
‘That is the way you work during the week, to perform collectively and to do that you need individual performances. At this level, when opponents are good and well-organised, with good spirit and nothing to lose, you need people to perform. I cannot say I had 11 players performing at the same time.
‘Two or three of them were far from good and I blame myself for keeping one of them on for 90 minutes.’
The manager shared views on Kenedy’s debut as a second-half substitute and Falcao’s headed goal…
‘Cesar Azpilicueta was fantastic but I took him off because I wanted to give more depth to the side and to play without a left-back and with a kid going forward like Kenedy did. He is a good personality and this is what we needed at the time. Kenedy was responsible for an improvement in the team.
‘Falcao’s goal means nothing for the team but for his personal confidence it is good and he is fine. From his reaction after the goal you could see his happiness because he has come from a difficult period.’
It is now a fortnight before the next game with little chance to work with the squad at Cobham due to internationals, but changes to the side are not out of the question…
‘If a player is not performing there are two ways of looking at it. One is I trust so much the player I am going to wait for an improvement, and maybe it comes and maybe it doesn’t. Or even trusting the player, there arrives a moment when you think you have to change.
‘We have eight points less than the leader and in another league I would say game over because in these leagues for top teams it is very difficult to lose so many points. In the Premier League I don’t say game over.
‘The reality is we had a bad start, four points from four matches is a very bad start.’
Mourinho does not see sudden activity in the remaining few days of the transfer window as a solution…
‘I don’t like that. I gave my club the reports of the season and projection on 24 April and don’t think now that I am going to say I want this, this and that. We have to do better, me and the players.’
- A clip of Jose Mourinho speaking to Chelsea TV after the game can be watched below with the full interview available now via Video on Demand, subject to Fan Club Plus membership.