Jose Mourinho has given further analysis of the weekend FA Cup defeat but also stressed the importance of the team putting the game behind them and focusing on the next challenge ahead.
Having won 1-0 in the league encounter with Manchester City so soon before Saturday’s 2-0 defeat, comparisons between the two games are naturally made, and the Chelsea manager highlighted areas in the latest display that contrasted with what was rightly called one of the performances of the season.
‘We didn’t defend the same way,’ Mourinho explained.
‘We didn’t defend with the same concentration and the same balance. Our defensive line was too far back, too deep, and we want to press as it is what we do very well, pressing the opponent in the opponent’s half.
‘We never did that on Saturday and defensive freshness was also clear. You could feel the Man City players without playing midweek were stronger and faster than some of my players. During the game the team was feeling that it was difficult to do it, and when you feel that, also from the mental point of view you are going a little bit down.’
With Man City preventing Chelsea from registering any shots on target during the game, Mourinho compared it to the away Champions League match in Basel when the same statistic was recorded, although he pointed out the Swiss side’s overall strength cannot be compared favourably with the side currently third in the Barclays Premier League table.
‘On Saturday, Man City were stronger than us so it is not a big story,’ he added.
‘My team didn’t play so well and we couldn’t get Eden Hazard into positions where he could be a threat. The kid tried everything by dropping back and trying to bring the game to them, because in the league game, in Willian, Matic and Ramires we had people able to bring the game, people to go into the midfield so Hazard was in positions to attack the space and to attack Zabaleta.
‘But on Saturday the ball was not arriving, so Hazard was dropping back into the midfield to try and it was more difficult to beat one, two then three guys. He tried everything.
‘It is always difficult to play two matches close together against the same team. For the first winner it is very difficult to go back when they reached the top and the loser has time to assimilate the defeat and create a certain spirit. I don’t say revenge but a spirit of this time we have to do it. It is easier for the other team to react. They had that reaction and we couldn’t be at our maximum level.’
Training resumes tomorrow (Tuesday) to prepare for the visit from Everton on Saturday, and the message from the manager to the squad will be clear.
‘I don’t like to lose but when I lose, instead of big crying I want the next match to come, I want to play, I want to try to have again the taste of the victory. I am never down with a defeat and I want to start working towards the next match, and hopefully I can pass to them this kind of spirit, this kind of message.’