London - Jose Mourinho launched a passionate defence of his Chelsea team on
Friday, two days after elimination from the Champions League in
acrimonious circumstances by Paris Saint-Germain.
League leaders, who are at home to Southampton on Sunday, were knocked
out on away goals after extra time despite the fact that PSG striker
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had been sent off as early as the 31st minute.
accused Chelsea players of behaving like "babies" by crowding around
the referee once the Swede had fouled Brazilian play-maker Oscar. The
inference was that they had tried to influence the official, a tactic
captain John Terry insisted afterwards was perfectly legitimate and that
had also been employed by the opposition.
Mourinho, who claimed
after the reverse fixture with Southampton, a 1-1 draw on December 28
last year, that there was a conspiracy amongst domestic referees to
punish his side unfairly, was adamant that Chelsea were no more guilty
of that than any other Premier League club.
"If my players
surround the referee, we are charged," he said. "We have to pay a fine
and if we do that, the players pay the fine. At this moment we have
eight months of competition, we have been charged once and we paid for
that. It's as simple as that.
"Go to the Premier League and see
how many teams are charged. The only thing I know is Chelsea were
charged once. It is my responsibility to train the players and help them
cope with the pressure.
"The people that were out of the
Champions League on Wednesday are the same people that won the League
Cup and the same people that are going to win the Premier League. It is
the same people."
Mourinho also rounded on television pundits
Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness after the ex-Liverpool players had
been highly critical of Chelsea's performance and behaviour.
because of diet and maybe the quality of the products we are eating,
memories are getting shorter," said. "Because when Jamie Carragher and
Graeme Souness speak about it, it's because they are having a problem
"Just to close the chapter on the Champions League, the
game finished and I was in the tunnel. One by one - not just the players
but the coaches and everybody from PSG - I shook their hands. I told
them they deserved it. I wished them good luck for the future.
was the way we behave after a defeat. This is the example my players
get after a defeat. I went to my dressing room, I put everybody together
- not just the players - and because I am normally very calm and
deserve to go home and reflect and think and speak without any doubt or
emotion, this is what we did.
"We also spoke in that moment about
our future: to try and win the Premier League and, if we do that, a
season with a Premier League and a Capital One Cup is a brilliant
"This is the way I am, the way I work. I'm not like people
want me to be, or like people like to describe me. Jamie stopped
playing a couple of years ago and, in two years, he forgets everything
he did on the pitch. Mr Souness also, but he stopped playing a long
times ago. I coached Benfica, I know a lot about him, so much about him.
But I prefer to laugh. Envy is the biggest tribute that the shadows do
to the man. It's about life."
Mourinho's faith that Chelsea will
go on to win the league is based on the fact they possess a five-point
lead over Manchester City and also have a game in hand. But he also
insisted he would be happy if City, who trail 2-1 to Barcelona,
progressed in the Champions League, or if they could not then Arsenal,
who lost their last 16 first leg 3-1 at home to Monaco, should survive
"I wish Manchester City and Arsenal do better than us,"
he said. "I wish England goes to the quarter-final with both teams or at
least one of them. The only thing we could do for English football this
season was 16 points to support the coefficient. We couldn't do more
"What we can do now for ourselves and our club is win
the Premier League - 11 matches to play, only one competition. Our
situation is good. It's better than anyone else's. Everybody would love
to be in our position. This is what we want to do. Yesterday I closed
with the players the chapter on the Champions League. The only thing we
want to speak about the Champions League this season is that, if we are
champions, next season we are a top seed."