Every time Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho opens his mouth, it’s like Christmas morning for the press. The Guardian’s Michael Walker writes in the wake of the league leaders’ 1-0 win at Blackburn yesterday.
“This was not football, this was a fight,” Mourinho said. “Blackburn felt they couldn’t beat us at football; I’m not saying they [deliberately] injured players like [Arjen] Robben but it was nasty and hard.”
Mourinho also used the word “intimidating” about Blackburn’s aggressive tactics and was delighted at not succumbing to them. He hoped that this was not something Chelsea would have to get used to.
“This was a big answer,” he said. “We had solid defence and we are now in our best position since the start of the season, 11 points clear.
“I don’t care about Manchester United or Arsenal, I care about us. But for the millions watching on television this was a big disappointment because it was not a football game. And we have to defend the quality of the game – managers, players, referees.”
(Arjen Robben after scoring his 7th goal of the season)
Rovers’ Mark Hughes was more concerned about Mourinho than the quality of the match. He made no attempt to hide his annoyance that Mourinho forgot the traditional handshake. on the final whistle, instead celebrating on the pitch.
Having called Chelsea “supposedly” the best team in the league, Hughes added: “I was a little bit upset because the opposing manager wasn’t gracious enough to shake my hand.
“Sometimes you have to be gracious in victory as well as defeat.”
Mourinho, when informed of Hughes’s comments, said, “I shook his hand three or four times before the game. It’s ridiculous.”
Mourinho also noted the state of the pitch. “During this afternoon it rained only in this stadium – our kitman saw it – they tried everything. There must be a microclimate here.”