Friday 13 December 2019

Jose: My Touchline burst was purely tactical

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho sparked memories of his famous celebration along the Old Trafford sideline in 2004 as the Portuguese manager once again stormed down the side of the pitch as his team defied the odds to qualify for the Champions League semi-final.

Strikes from substitutes Andre Schurrle and Demba Ba steered Mourinho's side, 3-1 down from the first leg in France, to the 2-0 home victory sufficient to send them through on away goals, with the tie finishing 3-3 on aggregate.

When Ba struck, the manager came racing out of his technical area towards his players to speak to them as they celebrated by the corner flag.

And asked what he had done that for, Mourinho said: "Not to celebrate – to tell Fernando (Torres, another substitute) and Demba the changes we had to do, because there was still three minutes plus added-time and with that amount of time left, playing like we were playing, it was too risky.

"I wanted to use my two freshest players for a different job in the last period.

"We did enough in the beginning of the second half to score, but we couldn't and after that there was a bit of a contradiction in terms of what PSG are and what they were saying yesterday – they played pure counter-attack, with no ball possession, just getting behind using counter-attack and closing everything.

"It was difficult for us to penetrate in that second part of the second half, so I played Demba and Fernando.

"Then Demba made a crucial finish for us and I think it was very much deserved.

"The team that decided to defend was punished. The team that gave everything, sometimes with their hearts, deserved to go through to the semis."

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport