After a second successive away defeat, Jose Mourinho says he thinks winning the title is beyond us now.
A frustrating afternoon in south London ended with the sides separated by a solitary goal, John Terry’s inadvertent header past his own keeper early in the second half. Though we huffed and puffed in search of a leveller our hosts defended admirably and when a golden chance did fall our way, Palace’s keeper Julian Speroni pulled off an exceptional reaction save to deny Eden Hazard.
After the game our manager admitted Crystal Palace deserved the three points, though he began by assessing our chances of lifting the Barclays Premier League following this latest setback…
‘I know mathematically it’s still possible but one thing is mathematics and another thing is reality,’ said Mourinho.
‘It depends too much on other results. When you depend a little it is possible, when you depend a lot I don’t think it is. What we have to do is try to win the six matches and finish in the best position we can but not to think we can win the league because I think it’s very, very difficult.’
Mourinho assessed what was lacking from his side this afternoon
‘Mentality and a little bit of quality. The opponent beat us clearly in their mentality. They had a strong mentality, aggressive, committed. Every one of them played I think to the top of their potential.
‘That in football is important, and after that I think we also missed some qualities. We could have scored before them in the first half and in the second half we had chances to equalise but even so I think it’s fair to say that they deserved it.
The manager drew parallels to other away games when we have dropped points this season
‘You see the matches we lost, except Villa, and you try to find points in common. Stoke City away, Everton away, Newcastle away, Palace away, West Brom away when we lost two points, you try to find points in common and you find.
‘Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta perform in the rain, the sun, big pitches, small pitches, aggressive teams, not aggressive teams. They perform every game from day one to today.
‘Clearly we have some players who, because of their profile, find it difficult to perform in some matches. They are fantastic in some matches but they disappear in other matches. You can find easily in these matches something in common.’
Dave Kemp, Crystal Palace’s assistant manager, spoke after the game and first confirmed Jose Mourinho had come into the home side’s dressing room after the game to congratulate Tony Pulis and his players…
‘We were very pleased with our performance,’ said Kemp. ‘We had players that were prepared to run beyond their back four and we did that very well. The finishing didn’t match the rest of our play but in the end one was enough.’