José Mourinho says Chelsea have lost their chance to finish first

3 Comments

Relegation-threatened Crystal Palace beat Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday, thanks to an own goal by John Terry. Depending on the weekend’s other results, Chelsea could slip down to third place by the time Sunday evening rolls around.

The game’s only goal may have been gifted, but that doesn’t mean Palace didn’t deserve their victory. The hosts were strong in defense, keeping Chelsea at bay, and even after taking the lead continued to hit the opposition hard with fast breaks. Crystal Palace could very well have finished with at least another goal, possibly two.

(READ MORE: CRYSTAL PALACE BEAT CHELSEA)

As you might imagine, José Mourinho certainly had a few words to say about his side’s defeat. “Crystal Palace deserved the victory, they fought for their lives. We had good chances and their goalkeeper made some good saves in the first half. But their spirit was stronger, their desire was stronger and their commitment was stronger. That disappoints me, but it’s a defeat that we can only blame ourselves for.”

The Blues’ boss went on, lashing out at his players a bit. “Some of our players are not comfortable in these types of matches, like Stoke away, Newcastle away and Everton away. Can I change this? I don’t know. My defenders are phenomenal, but in other positions we have players that can be in trouble.”

It seems as though the tactician is saying that some of his players lack a certain toughness, that they’re able to be bullied around by sides that play a more physical game. Those players, he implies, will need to step it up – or perhaps risk losing their spot at Chelsea.

But it may be too late to succeed this season. After the loss, Mourinho said, “Now we have lost our chance of finishing first. Now we depend too much on other results.”

He might have a point. Should Manchester City beat Arsenal, they’ll go top, with two games in hand. Liverpool can retake first with a win over Spurs on Sunday.

However, with the exception of a date with Liverpool at the end of April, Chelsea’s remaining games are all against sides in the bottom half of the table. It’s quite feasible that the Blues could still gain ground. So is this yet another mind game from Mourinho? A way to motivate his players? A statement born of frustration?

Or does José Mourinho really believe Chelsea’s title challenge is finished?

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

Peter Byrne/PA via AP
Leave a comment

NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer clubs, players and personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Leave a comment

If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images
Leave a comment

Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
1 Comment

Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.