English Premiership

Mourinho plays down thumping

2014-03-23 11:01
Jose Mourinho (AFP)

London - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that his side's 6-0 demolition of Arsenal did not have any added significance despite coming in counterpart Arsene Wenger's 1 000th game in charge.

The Arsenal manager suffered a nightmare on his milestone occasion at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with Chelsea's supporters goading the Frenchman by chanting: "We want you to stay!"

The crowing home support also made reference to Mourinho's remark last month that Wenger was a "specialist in failure", due to Arsenal's nine-year trophy drought.

The Portuguese was unwilling to rub further salt into the wound, however, and when asked if he had taken extra satisfaction from spoiling Wenger's big day, he replied: "No."

"I wanted the three points and a good performance if possible. We got that. And on top of that, we got the result with some numbers, which is especially for our fans.

"They are special numbers and we work for the fans so if we can give them that, then it's even more beautiful. But no more than that."

Arsenal were reduced to 10 men in the 15th minute when Kieran Gibbs was sent off in a case of mistaken identity after team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had handled the ball on the goal-line.

Mourinho conceded that the numerical advantage had aided his team, but he felt that Chelsea, who were 2-0 ahead by that time, had already asserted control of the game.

"Obviously to play against 10 men is easier," he said.

"I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say it is the same to play 10 and 11. It's not the same. But the way we started this game, there is no doubt that this was our game."

Chelsea now lie four points ahead of Liverpool having played a game more and six points in front of Manchester City, who have three fixtures in hand.

And Mourinho, whose side bounced back from a surprise 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa last weekend, continued to play down Chelsea's title hopes.

Asked if his side had a chance of winning the title, he added: "Just a little. The momentum was broken last Saturday. Now we are trying to build another momentum.

"We were lucky after last Saturday to immediately have another match in the Champions League (against Galatasaray) with a big responsibility to push us to forget. We concentrated on the new challenge and the Champions League was important.

"Then a derby match against Arsenal -- and the most important match of the season for them, as their manager said on Friday - was even more important because our focus was there.

"We've had good performances this season, but every match is difficult to play."

Samuel Eto'o limped off for Chelsea with a hamstring injury shortly after giving the hosts the lead in the fifth minute, but Mourinho suggested that the Cameroonian striker was not unduly worried by the setback.

"With his experience, he thinks it's not big," he said. "Before the big tear, he was able to say enough is enough, but a hamstring is a hamstring."

Wenger, whose side host Swansea City on Tuesday, did not attend the post-match press conference, with an Arsenal official explaining that it was because the team bus was about to leave.

Instead, he told television broadcasters: "It leaves it in a very bad situation, but we want to respond. We had two difficult away games at Tottenham and Chelsea. If we had played two draws, we'd have two points.

"Having won one, we have three points. But today (Saturday) is a huge disappointment, of course. When you don't turn up in a game of this stature -- nobody takes that easy.

"We have to win the next game. That is what we have to focus on now and give a strong response."


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