Posted by News Express | 19 September 2013 | 3,592 times
Returnee Chelsea of England coach Jose Mourinho has taken blame for last night’s unexpected European Champions League home defeat by FC Basle of Switzerland even as he defended the signing of Willian and Samuel Eto’o.
The Portuguese-born sweat merchant however said he still expects to win Group E.
Mourinho’s hopes of a winning return were dashed when Mohamed Salah and Marco Streller scored late goals to overturn the first-half strike from Oscar.
And although his side looked poor defensively and short of firepower, with £32 million signing Willian making a debut to forget, Mourinho took the responsibility for defeat.
“I am the manager, I am responsible for everything,” he said.
When asked about Willian, he said: “I don’t think it’s the time to speak about individual performances. We lost and we lost as a team. And I am responsible.
“I like to live moments where the players can shine. I’m happy to come here and say this player had a fantastic performance or this player was outstanding. When we lose, I’m responsible. I don’t like saying this player was better or worse than that one.
“Especially after a bad result. In the good moments I want everyone to shine, in the bad moments I want everyone to keep calm.”
Mourinho admitted he was surprised by the result, especially as Chelsea had cruised into a 1-0 lead by half-time, playing positive football. His words at the post-match press conference:
“In the first half we had a big percentage of the ball. We had corner after corner, but we didn’t create. They were very compact and defensive. But we did really nothing to score the goal.
“Then we scored, went in at 1-0 and the usual thing is you go on to win. In the second half, in our best period, we hit the post, had another shot deflected that was on target and [Branislav] Ivanovic’s header was cleared off the line, but they scored their (first) goal. It was a bit of a contradiction in the tendency of the game.
“The second goal was very difficult to accept because we have worked a lot on organisation at defensive set-pieces, and the header is in a position where we had two players defending that zone, and we lost Streller. Three players made a mistake and we conceded the goal."
Mourinho admitted that Samuel Eto’o looked short of match sharpness after his return last month from more than two years with Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.
“Samuel, maybe, lacks sharpness but this is something that doesn’t surprise me because, when you are two and a half years at a place that doesn’t motivate you, off the main stage, maybe you are there not for the right reasons and you lose the hunger, the appetite.
“Now he has that back, that motivation. He wants to succeed and play and is happy to be at this level. He’s participating a lot at Everton and today in the collective game. The sharpness and technique to score, maybe we have to wait. But he’s a great player.”
The former Real Madrid gaffer is still confident Chelsea that would recover the points lost last night and go on to top Group E. He said:
“We lost three points but we must get them somewhere else, at Schalke, Bucharest, in Basle. The objective to finish top two in the group phase is not lost, far from it. It is an objective we will fight for and one I believe very much we will achieve. In the next match we go to Bucharest (in the Champions League), we have to get the points to put us in the Champions League. We don’t want to play in the Europa League.
“Normally you have to win the home matches and get a few points away. Now we have to get the six points at home and to win points away from home. So probably we have to go to win at Basle to compensate for this defeat.”
Basle manager Murat Yakin refused to get carried away by the victory.
“For us, it’s a great honour to win here,” he said. “We can enjoy the moment. It’s not every day you can come from behind and win at Chelsea.
“Of course, it’s a great achievement. But this is one game, we’ve got five games ahead of us. There’s a lot ahead of us still.”
•Photo shows a stunned Mourinho on the Chelsea bench . . . last night at Stamford Bridge.
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