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No Way, Jose: Mourinho criticism of Conte smacks of desperation after Chelsea loss
Jose Mourinho claims to have been “humiliated” after his former club Chelsea inflicted an incredible 4-0 defeat upon his shell-shocked Manchester United team on Sunday. Television cameras caught the Portuguese manager having an unusually long conversation with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte after the final whistle at Stamford Bridge and reportedly lecturing Conte regarding the humility of his celebrations in Italian.
Because after United were comprehensively outmaneuvered and outfought by a thoroughly dominant Chelsea team, allowing four woeful goals in Mourinho’s worst ever Premier League defeat, it was definitely Conte’s celebration that was humiliating for United.
Jose Mourinho simply has more pressing problems on his hands, the defeat leaving him with a worse start to the Premier League campaign than his predecessors David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, despite spending astronomical sums of money over the summer. This was the first domestic game since May in which Wayne Rooney did not appear for United, and as he fights to keep his starting position despite competition from star signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, this game was a convincing argument for his inclusion.
If United weren’t wasteful, uncreative and tactically inferior enough, their sense of spirit and fight also caved in a way that Rooney’s certainly never would.
The Red Devils had been criticized for taking an overly-defensive game-plan to Liverpool last week, but at least they came away with a respectable, if somewhat dull draw. Mourinho had promised to take a higher, attacking shape against Chelsea, but United had not the brains nor gumption for their game-plan to ever take shape.
As much was starkly evident after just thirty seconds, with Pedro nipping in between Daley Blind and Chris Smalling at the end of a long ball over the top, rounding an unusually exposed David de Gea and slotting home the quickest Premier League goal of the season.
“You come with a strategy, you cannot concede a goal in the way we did,” said Mourinho, per the BBC.
He added, per the Guardian: “We made an incredible defensive mistake, I say ‘incredible’ in capitals, in the first minute and then the game is different. It is one of those days when you give the advantage to opponents by doing nothing.”
Smalling took over the captaincy from Rooney, but United’s defense was spineless and Chelsea capitalized. Gary Cahill doubled Chelsea’s lead on twenty-one minutes, as he was on hand to emphatically volley Eden Hazard’s deflected corner into the top corner from close range.
Hazard put Chelsea out of sight on the other side of the half, putting Smalling on the back foot with a lovely little shimmy of the hips and curling a low effort into the bottom corner from fifteen yards.
N’Golo Kante scored Chelsea’s fourth, which was a collective horror show for Untied’s defense. Blind was sucked out of the back by Hazard, who flicked a low pass onto Kante, and the Dutch defender threw his arms up in defeat instead of tracking back. Kante dribbled into the box with absolutely no pressure and sent Smalling flying with fake before cutting past the defender and coolly finishing into the bottom corner.
Mourinho, for all his distractions, was even moved to offer an apology to United fans. “I feel so sorry for that,” he said. “I have to apologize for that as the leader of this dressing room, and the only thing I can say is that I am Man United 100 per cent.”
Mourinho is only four months into his tenure at United, but his tone already smacks of desperation.