Almost as shocking as Chelsea’s 2-1 home loss to Crystal Palace was manager Jose Mourinho’s ability to praise the opponent in the immediate aftermath.
Mourinho gave the Palace squad and fans much of the credit for pounding Chelsea into submission at Stamford Bridge, something a Premier League opponent has done just one other time to a Mourinho-led team.
His first comments after coming off the field confirmed his admiration for Alan Pardew‘s setup, saying, “My first thought is for Palace. They came with everything; team ready, players ready, fans ready, fantastic spirit.”
As for his side, the Portuguese manager said that Cheslea “deserved more” than the loss but “did not deserve to win” as Palace took the lead in the 65th minute despite heavy possession advantage for the home side.
Mourinho: "Thoughts? The first thought is for Palace. They come with everything. Team ready, players ready, fans ready, fantastic spirit."
While Mourinho was congratulatory of some players’ performances, he did admit not all his eleven were at championship form, saying, “A performance is a collective performance, all 11 [players]. 2-3 of them, the individual performance was far from good.” He did, of course, praise the player he brought into the side, saying Kurt Zouma‘s 90 minutes in place of John Terry were solid in defense.
Jose says Cahill and Zouma played well and showed great stability. #CFC
However, in more typical Mourinho fashion, he did mention how his team was somewhat slighted by the referee. The Chelsea boss believed Zouma should have been given a penalty when he was felled in the box in the first half, calling the no-call a “big mistake” from the referee.
Celta’s Santi Mina scored in 85th minute to give a depleted Celta Vigo a precious point at the Santiago Bernabeu, spoiling Eden Hazard‘s return to Real Madrid’s lineup after a notable absence.
Madrid’s eighth draw of the season moves champions Barcelona just one point behind Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Returning from ankle injury that kept his out of action for three months, Hazard returned to the pitch in fine style, leading all players on the field in chances created with three and earning a penalty that Sergio Ramos converted to put Real Madrid ahead.
Hazard – and all of his flair – left the field in the 70th minute, granting Vinicius Junior the final 20 minutes of the match.
Ramos’ sixth goal of the season builded on Toni Kroos’ left-footed strike early in the latter half of the match. Real Madrid, more or less, were cruising against Celta, who had a goal to their name following Fyodor Smolov’s early opener.
Celta, who had arrived in Madrid in 18th place and had lost their last seven at the host’s home, were destined to do the unthinkable. Denis Suarez and Mina – both utilized as substitutes – paired up for the equalizer with five minutes to go, spoiling Hazard’s return.
LIBSON, Portugal — FC Porto striker Moussa Marega, who tried to walk off the field after being the target of racist slurs from fans, faced apparent attempts Sunday by his own teammates and opposition players to prevent him from leaving.
Marega, who is black and from Mali, was visibly angered by monkey noises targeting him after he scored Porto’s second goal in a 2-1 win at Guimarães in the Portuguese football league.
But when Marega started to walk off the field, several players from both Porto and Guimarães appeared to argue with him. Porto coach Sérgio Conceição also went on the field and spoke with Marega.
It took Marega several minutes to leave the field when he was substituted.
Marega held his thumbs down at the crowd as he went into the tunnel to the changing rooms. The crowd responded with loud jeers.
The attitude of the other players has drawn criticism on social media.
“We are indignant with what has happened. Moussa was insulted from warmups (before kickoff),” Conceição said after the match.
“We are a family. One’s nationality, color, or height does not matter. We are human beings. We deserve respect and what happened was despicable.”
Marega received a yellow card following his goal in the 61st minute when he appeared to respond to the slurs by pointing at his skin and by picking up a seat that had been thrown on the pitch.
Timothy Weah returns to action with Lille after lengthy| absence
Why did Manchester United let Young walk away from Old Trafford during the winter transfer window? Surely, Young will answer that in detail when the time is right. At this moment, he’s too busy scoring goals – stellar ones, too – as we can see for ourselves above.
Young arrived at Inter in January on a reported $2-million deal for the remainder of the season, with an option to extend for another season.