Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: Samuel Eto’o did not cheat, it was Cardiff who cheated fans with 'time-wasting'

By Simon Johnson

Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, has delivered an extraordinary rant here and accused Cardiff City of breaking the rules and ruining the game for supporters.

Mourinho was speaking, on Monday night, for the first time since Chelsea beat Cardiff 4-1 on Saturday, where he was sent to the stands by referee Anthony Taylor and then refused to speak to the media afterwards.


On Monday night the Portuguese was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for the sending-off at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho has until 6pm on Thursday to respond and is likely to receive a fine if the charge is upheld.


On Saturday, the Cardiff manager, Malky Mackay, was furious about the manner of Chelsea’s equaliser in the first half, when striker Samuel Eto’o kicked the ball as goalkeeper David Marshall bounced it and Eden Hazard capitalised. Eto’o’s actions have been questioned since, but Mourinho feels that it was Cardiff who were in the wrong and deserve to be scrutinised because of all the “time-wasting” they did in the match.


He said: “If I was in that game and I was paying for my ticket, I would be worried with the fact that every time the ball was out or stopped and our opponent had to put the ball back in the game, it took a minimum of  21.5 seconds. That is a waste of money.


“You pay for your ticket and every time the game stops you have to wait about half a minute? When you multiply that by the number of times the game was stopped... you pay for 90 minutes but you see 55 or 60. For me, that’s breaking the rules.


“Scoring a goal with a hand, that breaks the rules. Score a goal that was not a goal, as happened in Germany last week [Stefan Kiessling for Leverkusen against Hoffenheim], that’s not funny. We lost a semi-final in the Champions League and the ball didn’t cross the line. That is a rule.


“When I arrived home the first thing I told my kid who likes to play goalkeeper: ‘See the goal and don’t do that,  eh?’ And he’s 12. If, in this moment, Fifa says that it’s a foul, it’s a foul. But I think Samuel did well. Maybe the referee did wrong, I don’t know to be fair.


“But in my opinion, that should be allowed as it was for years. No contact with the goalkeeper, nothing to stop the goalkeeper to make a quick kick – even with space he took 30 seconds.


“The goalkeeper has six seconds to have the ball, correct? They had almost half a minute. That’s breaking the rules. So he [Eto’o] didn’t break the rules. We played our game, a difficult game, and we deserved to win.”


Mourinho is also still clearly upset at being dismissed by Taylor who –  despite Mackay’s written complaint to referees’ chief Mike Riley about Hazard’s goal – will take charge of Aston Villa’s home game against Everton on Saturday. He added: “I know what happened and what didn’t happen, but I don’t know the reason why the referee stopped me to do my work, and I’m waiting for that. Until that moment, I’m not going to make any comment.


“To be with the fans was not funny. It’s frustrating. You want to communicate with the players and you cannot do it. Maybe after the fourth goal, when the game was over, that’s fine. But at 2-1 or 3-1, it’s frustrating because you want to do your work and you can’t do it.”


The fall-out from Saturday’s game dominated what was meant to be a pre-match press conference to preview a vital Champions League group game at Bundesliga side Schalke, who lead Chelsea by three points in the table. “I don’t think it’s yet the time to have the calculator,” Mourinho said. “We play two matches now against the strongest opponent in the group.”

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