Champions League Results: PSG vs Chelsea: Mourinho Calls Defensive Lapses a Joke, Blasts Strikers
By Deepak Vikraman | April 3, 2014 3:37 PM EST
Jose Mourinho would not have been happy with the result against PSG in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg, but the Chelsea manager was distraught over the manner in which the three goals were conceded by his team in the 3-1 loss in Paris.
Chelsea face a daunting task in the second leg trying to turn over the deficit, after an Ezequiel Lavezzi opener, a David Luiz own goal and a Javier Pastore stunner put PSG in the driver's seat in the last-eight tie.
The Blues did pretty well to come back into the game after going down early to a brilliant Lavezzi half-volley, albeit courtesy a gift from John Terry, with their high-pressing game causing PSG a lot of trouble.
However, those defensive lapses, after Eden Hazard brought the game back to 1-1, kept haunting Chelsea, leaving Mourinho a bemused and disappointed manager.
"From a strategic point of view the team had great discipline and they did the most difficult things to do in the game very well," Mourinho said. "They stopped [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, when he dropped back to play in midfield and between the lines he was completely under control.
"[Edinson] Cavani was under control, Thiago Motta and Marco Verratti in the centre of the pitch were under control and the full-backs, who go forward a lot, were under control.
"We recovered seven or eight balls in dangerous positions where we found them two against two or three against three, but we couldn't transform these half-chances into goals. On top of that we made defensive mistakes, individual defensive mistakes. We paid the price.
"The ball went to Lavezzi for the first goal. Top player, top striker -- it's like this at this level. We had the chance to go 2-1 up at the end of the first half. Then we scored an own goal and the third goal was a joke. It was not a goal, it was joke.
"It's difficult for us to score goals, especially when the games are tight. When you make defensive mistakes you are in trouble, that's simple. We made individual mistakes in areas where for the whole season the guys have performed and they have the right to do that."
Mourinho chose to play Andre Schurrle as his centre-forward from the start, despite having the likes of Fernando Torres and Demba Ba at his disposal. "I am not happy with my strikers' performances so I have to try things," he said. "With Andre at least I know we have one more player to have the ball and to associate with the other players.
"Even not being dangerous because he's not a striker he can associate and the team can have control of possession like we had. Football is not just about that. It's also about scoring goals, getting in behind and having real strikers."
While PSG might be in total control of the tie, manager Laurent Blanc is not taking a place in the semifinals for granted, well aware of the fact that Chelsea are formidable at Stamford Bridge, where the second leg will be played on Tuesday.
"We know that whatever the first-leg scoreline, a tough game is ahead of us on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge," the former Manchester United defender said. "We scored three goals but we saw that we can concede too. It's tight with suspense. We'll have to be ready for that test."
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