Belfast Telegraph

Mourinho: Home loss was highlight

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho bizarrely selected his first Barclays Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge as his season's "highlight".

The Blues travel to Cardiff on Sunday with the title out of reach after a number of recent defeats.

But Mourinho refused to bracket the losses at Aston Villa and to Sunderland - a defeat which ended his 77-match unbeaten home record in the league - in the same category as the loss at Crystal Palace.

Mourinho was fined £10,000 on Thursday for his sarcastic appraisal of the officials following the loss to the Black Cats, and also failed in an appeal against an £8,000 penalty imposed after the defeat at Villa Park.

Asked his standout moment of the campaign, he chose the penalty awarded by Mike Dean and converted by Fabio Borini which earned Sunderland a 2-1 win on April 19, hinting his belief that Chelsea's title challenge was ended as a result of the controversial loss.

"This season I lost a match at Stamford Bridge for the first time," Mourinho said.

"I lost with the second goal (against Sunderland) and for me that's the highlight."

Mourinho returned to Chelsea last summer following a near six-year absence, but could not deliver a trophy as the Blues went without silverware for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign.

The Portuguese added: "I like to be back. Obviously I enjoy most of the things that happen.

"I don't enjoy defeats, but I have to say that to lose at Crystal Palace is English football.

"To lose at Newcastle, despite having a very good first half, that's football, that's English football.

"To lose like we did against Sunderland or Aston Villa is not English football and I like English football, I don't like what isn't English football."

Mourinho refused to discuss the unsuccessful appeal against his fine for approaching referee Chris Foy on the field towards the end of the March loss at Villa.

"No comments, because I don't want to pay £9,000," he said.

Mourinho has been an outspoken critic of clubs flouting Financial Fair Play - with Chelsea endeavouring to comply - and was asked about Manchester City's imminent punishment from UEFA.

The Chelsea boss added: "It looks like now in football everything is about money. Even the sanctions are about money.

"I think there are people in this country, even colleagues of mine, they are in a better situation to speak about it.

"They can speak, they can have an opinion, they are not punished, they are not criticised.

"You have other managers in this country where you can get what I call a free opinion, which I cannot have."

Similarly Mourinho would not be drawn on the findings of FA chairman Greg Dyke's commission for the reform of the English game.

Mourinho said: "I'm afraid of commenting, because if I comment in a positive way I can be punished. If I comment in a negative way I can be punished.

"So I have to adapt to the situation. To adapt to the situation is to come with a very English answer, which is 'no comment'."


From Belfast Telegraph