Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is far from pleased with his Blues performance in Slovenia, where Maribor held the English giants to a 1-1 draw.
He didn’t like their first half at all, and questioned his team’s belief since his halftime adjustments were the “right” ones to make.
But if you think he would fire at the easy target of Eden Hazard, think again. Mourinho gave plenty of support for the Belgian star, whose late penalty was saved by Maribor keeper Jasmin Handanovic.
“In the first half we didn’t play well. I was not happy with the team or the performance. I changed at half-time with the conviction that team was going to improve. I was proved right, but they scored, their belief was higher and our players starting feeling the pressure.
“When a player plays as well as Eden Hazard, he can miss a penalty and still be the best player in my team. We paid the price of not a good first half and their goalkeeper was fantastic.
“This referee I have a long story from my Italian times but I don’t want to go in that direction. Better to praise a team that gave everything and fought fantastically well.”
He later added, “And the referee’s team did not have a good night.”
Chelsea is still in fine shape for advancement into the knockout stage, with 8 points and the top spot in Group H. Their next test is on the road at second place Schalke, which is three points back, before finishing at home to Sporting CP on Dec. 10.