Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has come under plenty of criticism in recent weeks and that continued after his side lost on penalty kicks on Tuesday, with the Capital One Cup holders crashing out in the fourth round at 10-man Stoke City.
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Eden Hazard saw his spot kick saved as Chelsea went down 5-4 on PKs after Loic Remy’s last-gasp equalizer had forced extra time.
Despite suffering defeat for the eighth time in 16 outings in all competitions this season, Mourinho was delighted with the application of his players — saying they should have been two or three nil up at half time and everything was good apart from the final PK — and hit out at media reports claiming his side were no longer playing for him and that he had “lost the dressing room” at Chelsea.
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Just take a read of this from his post-match press conference. Shots fired.
“What the players did tonight was face some people who have written and spoken [about them] and said: you are stupid,” Mourinho said. “Do you think the players are not with me or didn’t give everything to win the game? It’s sad for the players. It’s a lack of respect to the players, not to me. For me it would be a fantastic situation if the players were against me, [because] I could say we didn’t have the results because the players were against me.
“I think what some people write and say is really bad for the players, and because most that do that were players, maybe they think my players are like them when they were players. My players don’t do that. They tried everything. If anyone saw the second half on Saturday playing the way they did with 10 men, once more it’s a lack of respect for the players to [doubt] their moral principles.
“My general situation is fantastic. I have a day off tomorrow, a fantastic family, I can sleep well every night, I will enjoy my day off and Thursday will be one more day like those I had in the last 15 years of my life: honest and dedicated.”
It is safe to say that on Tuesday Chelsea played much better than they have been and deserved more than losing to Stoke on penalties. Hazard, despite his PK miss, looked back to his best and Mourinho praised his side for “playing very well” but was frustrated they couldn’t get the result.
Other than losing, another negative from the game was Diego Costa coming off injured with a rib problem in the 33rd minute and the Brazilian striker is now a major doubt for the Halloween clash against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge (Watch live, 8:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) on Saturday.