Saturday 17 February 2018

Mourinho fires back 'boring' jibe

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea need five more points to be crowned Premier League champions
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea need five more points to be crowned Premier League champions

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho laughed off the Arsenal crowd's "boring" jibes by reminding the Gunners of their wait for the Premier League title as his side closed in on the trophy.

The Blues need five more points to be crowned Premier League champions for the first time in five years, but were jeered in the goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium for a stubborn performance which frustrated Arsenal, who last won the title in 2003-04.

"You know, I think boring is 10 years without a title. That's very boring," said Mourinho, who criticised Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for not doing more to win the game.

"You support the club and you're waiting, waiting, waiting for so many years without a Premier League title, so that's very boring.

"But maybe they were not singing to us. Maybe, when you want to win a game and you're at home and you take your number nine (Olivier Giroud) off, maybe the home fans want more.

"Maybe they want to play Giroud and (Danny) Welbeck together up front to try to win the game."

Told Chelsea will not be loved by neutrals for the way they have sacrificed their artistic approach for a more methodical one, as Mourinho revealed on Friday, the Blues boss scarcely cared.

"I have lots of love," Mourinho said.

"No problem. If you (the media) tell the truth, people will fall in love with us.

"But you have to tell the truth. If you say the truth, you will walk in the street and people will blow kisses at us."

The draw felt like a win for Mourinho, whose side could be champions within a week by winning at Leicester on Wednesday and beating Crystal Palace at home next Sunday.

"It's one point. It leaves five," added Mourinho, who declined the opportunity to expand on Chelsea being denied two penalties in the first half.

"If we'd won today we'd need three. If we'd lost today we'd need eight.

"This point is like almost three points, because you don't need eight, you need five.

"It's a positive result... a fair result, if you forget the penalties. And I want to forget the penalties because I think the referee (Michael Oliver) had a very good performance."

Asked how he would like Chelsea to be remembered as champions, Mourinho said: "First of all, we need to be champions. We need to win the five points to be champions.

"If we do that - and I think we are going to do that - we will be champions being top of the league since day one.

"Being top of the league since day one, only top teams can do that."

Oscar, who began the match as Chelsea's most advanced player as Mourinho opted against fielding a recognised striker, was clattered by Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina in the first half and might have had a penalty.

The Brazil playmaker left for hospital at half-time and was replaced by Didier Drogba for the second half, but Mourinho did not know if Oscar has concussion.

"He went to hospital at half-time. I don't know (if it is concussion), we are waiting," the Portuguese said.

Chelsea's players, led by captain John Terry, were jubilant at the final whistle as the Blues neared a fourth Premier League title, following wins in 2005, 2006 and 2010.

Terry was singled out for praise by his manager.

"The team was phenomenal, but John was one step ahead of every other player," Mourinho said.

Wenger is still without a victory in 13 attempts against Mourinho's Chelsea.

The Frenchman felt Arsenal did enough to win the game, but their eight-match winning sequence came to an end.

Wenger said: "In the first half we had the right intensity. We dropped that in the second half and came back into the right level for the last 20 minutes.

"We could have finished the game off. (Mesut) Ozil had a great chance in the final minute of the game.

"But they came to defend well, and they did that well, and everybody knows that."

Wenger felt fortunate Ospina did not concede a penalty, but also felt Arsenal might have had a spot kick of their own when Gary Cahill blocked a Santi Cazorla shot with his arm.

"Yes. I think we could have one or two (penalties) as well," said Wenger, when asked about the Ospina challenge.

"The referee gave the advantage to Oscar. He was first on the ball and gave him the advantage. After, Hector Bellerin managed to save the goal so it was difficult to come back (to the Ospina foul)."

Wenger is focused on finishing this term well before contemplating a title challenge next term.

"(Chelsea) are not champions yet, but they will be," Wenger added.

"We want to finish the season well. We need to keep the focus until the end of the season. Then we'll see what we can do next season.

"Let's finish well. We go to Hull now, then we want to secure the top four before the (FA) Cup final. Then the top three or the top two. That's all to do now."

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport