That rival team – Manchester United – paid a visit to Stamford Bridge on Monday for an FA Cup quarterfinal clash, and Mourinho’s tactics to try and stop Chelsea’s best player from hurting them by hurting that very player physically, clearly, did not go down well with the Blues home fans.
Mourinho, victor of seven major trophies during two spells in charge at Stamford Bridge, suffered “Judas” taunts by fans with short memories as his battling 10-man United went down 1-0 in a stormy FA Cup quarter-final.
The action wasn’t all on the pitch though.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says that Paul Pogba “does not give an ass” about his critics.
Mourinho does of course have strong links with Chelsea having been sacked by the club back in December 2015.
Chants of “F**k off Mourinho” and “Judas” rang out from the section behind the Manchester United dug out, but it is unlikely the fans had accounted for the 54-year-old Portuguese manager’s witty response.
As it was, Chelsea didn’t need a second goal, with United turning in one of their most frustratingly impotent performances of the season.
Their exploits in the Europa League last week, mixed with their Premier League schedule has left Jose Mourinho a frustrated figure. He was particularly frustrated by referee Michael Oliver’s decision to send off Ander Herrera in the 35th minute for a second yellow card – both for fouls on Eden Hazard.
It’s rare for Kante to be in the scoring spotlight, although his only other goal since joining Chelsea past year came on United’s last visit to west London.
“My point of view is that we want to play football and for the first 25 minutes it was impossible for Hazard to play because he got a lot of kicks”. But the Londoners will have the upper hand tonight should Conte field his strongest team.
“Tomorrow we go with everything that we have, the fans will give us a little bit of extra energy”.
They’ve failed to win in their last five European games on the road and conceded at least twice in all three of their Champions League away games before dropping into this competition.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings with Manchester United in all competitions (W6 D5), last losing to them 3-2 in October 2012. “I’m surprised with the way they play”, he said. I am a professional, I defend my club.
“At Chelsea and all the teams I’ve led, I’ve shown that I live in the sport with tremendous passion”, Conte said on Friday. “The relationship between our true potential and the expectations, there is a gap and that gap is the most hard thing”.
‘The only thing I tell you is that my players did what everybody could see on the Monday night. Marcus Rashford created a rare opportunity on the counter-attack just short of the hour, though was denied by Thibaut Courtois is a one-on-one after skinning César Azpilicueta.