Chelsea manager Jose Moutinho can’t seem to catch a break. When everyone thought that the Blues have turned around their season, they suffered a shocking home defeat against relegation threatened Bournemouth. Glenn Murray struck a late winner at Stamford Bridge, as the Cherries condemned the Blues to yet another defeat in Premier League. And the Premier League winners’ position in league table now indicates a relegation battle rather than a fight for the Champions League spot, which was considered as a bare minimum by the manager and players before the game.
The London club now have 15 points from the same number of games and sit just three points above the relegation zone. At the opposite spectrum of the table, Man Utd occupy the last Champions League spot with 29 points. Even the Portuguese manager is coming to terms with the possibility that his side might not make it to the top four at the end of the season.
“There is no chance that Chelsea will be fighting relegation. That is not the problem. It is that our objective is to finish top four,” he said following the 1-0 defeat. “Before this game it was realistic to think that our quality would take us out of this position, but maybe now we have to think about top six. If our players are not able to give the maximum every day that is a problem. If you analyse match after match, there are a few layers where it is difficult to be consistent. You think there is evolution, but maybe it is just one moment in which they are good.”
Mourinho also criticized match referee Mike Jones for not awarding a penalty to his side when the ball struck Simon Francis’ arm in the second half. He added: “We didn’t deserve to lose. Our opponent – in the period that they thought only of defence – managed to get a goal and there was a clear mistake from the referee. The referee made an important mistake. I think it is a clear handball and penalty with the score at 0-0. In the first half we were not aggressive enough, in the second half we arrived in dangerous positions a lot of time with a lot of crosses from the right hand side from Ivanovic. They played in a way that some call intelligent, some say is not fair play. They were taking time, calling for the medical department and drinking water like it is basketball time out.”