Thursday 14 December 2017

Mourinho slams Hammers' 'football from 19th century' as Chelsea held

Chelsea 0 West Ham 0

It was a frustrating night for Mourinho
It was a frustrating night for Mourinho
Striker Andy Carroll vies with Chelsea's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta

Matt Law

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho accused West Ham of playing "football from the 19th century" after being left frustrated by a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues fell three points behind new Premier League leaders Manchester City, who beat West Ham 9-0 in the two-legged League Cup semi-final, after a resolute display from Sam Allardyce's men.

Mourinho outlined his unhappiness with the Hammers' tactics afterwards. The self-proclaimed Special One said: "It's very difficult to play a football match where only one team wants to play.

"A football match is about two teams playing and this match was only one team playing and another team not playing.

"I told Big Sam and I repeat my words, they need points and, because they need points, to come here and play the way they did, is it acceptable? Maybe, yes.

"I cannot be too critical, because if I was in his position I don't know if I would do the same. Maybe.

"At the same time I told also this is not Premier League, this is not the best league in the world, this is football from the 19th century."

Chelsea tried everything to unlock the Hammers defence and when they did they found goalkeeper Adrian in supreme form.

Mourinho added: "The only (other) thing I could bring was a Black and Decker (tool) to destroy the wall."

Allardyce laughed off Mourinho's barbs suggesting that "he knew he would say something like that"; however, having conceded 38 shots on goal, the West Ham manager will have been thankful for the point.

For all Mourinho's complaining he will know this was the kind of game in which Juan Mata might have made the difference. Chelsea banked £37m for the Spaniard, but they are already two points worse off without him.

Of course, it is incorrect to claim that Chelsea's failure to beat a West Ham fighting for their Premier League lives was simply down to the absence of Mata.

But an out-of-sorts Chelsea team needed all the help they could get, as they failed to break down their battling London rivals and missed a chance to go second in the table.

Oscar hit the bar and John Terry went close, but the spark was not quite there.

West Ham arrived at Stamford Bridge having lost seven of their past nine games, but they started much the brighter. Allardyce and his staff appealed loudly for a penalty in the sixth minute, when Andy Carroll controlled a Stewart Downing cross on his chest and went down under a challenge from Cesar Azpilicueta.

Referee Neil Swarbrick let play continue and replays suggested he was right. Adrian was forced to brilliantly tip an Oscar shot on to the top of his bar, but Chelsea were given another scare from a Downing delivery.

This time, the winger found James Tomkins in the area from a free-kick on the left and the defender's header bounced inches wide of Petr Cech's post.

Mohamed Diame was forced off on the half-hour mark after crashing into the advertising boards and into the Chelsea crowd, but the visitors remained resolute.

Adrian did brilliantly to keep West Ham level on the stroke of half-time, saving with his feet to stop a powerful Terry header.

Mourinho and his staff leapt from the bench in fury close to the hour mark, appealing that West Ham defender Joey O'Brien should have been sent off for clattering into the back of Willian. It was a terrible challenge, but Swarbrick attempted to play the advantage.

When ball went out of play, O'Brien was relieved just to see a yellow card.

Ireland international O'Brien was later forced off with a dislocated shoulder that will sideline him for several months – leaving West Ham to play four minutes of injury-time with 10 men.

Mourinho ranted at the fourth official that Chelsea should have been given longer to try to find a winner.

Mata may be gone, but goalless draws will mean he is not easily forgotten at Chelsea. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent Sport Star Awards

Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport