Tags Posts tagged with "Jose Mourinho"

Jose Mourinho

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Chelsea have beaten Maccabi Tel-Aviv 4-0 in their first Champions League match of the season in a game that will hopefully see an upturn in form.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was booked early on for a high tackle and Chelsea’s unassuming start to the season continued with a missed opportunity within five minutes. Eden Hazard sent a penalty into the Shed End after the Maccabi goalkeeper Rajkovic was only given a yellow card for bringing down on the on rushing Willian, something for which he should have seen red.

The half was slow to begin with as Chelsea struggled to break down the away side, and they consequently couldn’t break away effectively. The breakthrough came in the 15th minute and when it did it was lucky. A free-kick, won by Hazard, was put into the box from the far left side by Willian and went past Rajkovic in the Maccabi goal.

The penalty and the goal were to be Willian’s contributions to the game as he was substituted eight minutes after giving Chelsea the lead because of injury- he was replaced by Diego Costa, who has been a fairly solid like-for-like change, the Spain international happy to drift over to the left and allow Remy to run through the centre.

Chelsea improved after taking the lead, but they were lucky not to concede an equaliser when Maccabi’s single opening on goal was put over the bar- a header from Zahavi who was unmarked in the box and reached a cross from the right without any trouble.

It was certainly Chelsea that looked the most likely to score the half’s second goal, and they had to wait until the very last moment of the half to do so when they were given a second chance to score from the spot. Minutes of heavy pressure found Costa in the area who was brought down from close range.

It was Oscar who assumed penalty duties following Hazard’s horror earlier in the game, and he subsequently sent Rajkovic the wrong way to double Chelsea’s lead.

There were chances for both sides in the first ten minutes of the second half with the visitors coming close when Rikan shot with his left foot passed the post, an attempt for which the referee incorrectly gave a corner. Being 2-0 up allowed Chelsea to control the pace of what remained of the game and their attacks certainly appeared more relaxed. The passing in the opponents’ half was more accurate as they were less desperate to score. It only took ten minutes of the second half for Chelsea to add to their lead, and it was a fine finish when they did so.

Cesc Fabregas at last put in a ball that reminded everyone how good he was last season and Costa, with his back to goal, hooked  the ball into the top corner superbly. It was a finish that all hope will be the rejuvenation of the Spain forward’s form and he must be a certainty to start against Arsenal on Saturday.

With the points now a certainty, Chelsea didn’t let their opponents any respite. The ball possession was much better than at any point since winning the league last season, and Hazard, Fabregas etc looked something like what they did a few months ago,although not quite. Loftus-Cheek was a towering presence in the middle in his first Champions League appearance.

Hazard and Remy linked up well to set up the fourth goal when the Frenchman’s shot was saved and Fabregas finished into an empty net as Chelsea rubbed their underwhelming opponents’ noses in it. The goal tally was almost added to by substitute Bertrand Traore, brought on for Loftus-Cheek, but his left foot shot went just wide.

The performance was a great improvement on anything else this season, but Chelsea could and should have been punished at stages. Maccabi Tel-Aviv were poor and should not progress past this stage, but a convincing win is exactly what Chelsea needed after a terrible start to the season and Saturday’s derby with Arsenal.


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Asmir Begovic has backed Jose Mourinho calling him the best manager in the world  and assuring that the Special One has the support of all the Chelsea players.

The Blues will open their Champions League campaign against Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stamford Bridge tonight. Due to Chelsea’s poor results at Premier League , Jose Mourinho has come in for plenty of criticism with the opinions, that he could be sacked by Roman Abramovich for the second time. That is why, Chelsea goalkpeer has decided to back his manager.

During his first Champions League press conference Begovic said :

“We’re behind him. We can remember what this team is and what this team is capable of.”

With everything the the group achieved last year, as champions and cup winners, it is important to remember we have some of the best players in the world, and we know how to get results. It’s difficult walking into this sometimes.”

This is the highest level in club football, testing yourself against the best, so I’m very excited and honoured and hoping to help this team get a good result.”

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According to HITC Sport, Jose Mourinho is interested in securing the services of FC Porto midfielder Ruben Neves.

Portuguese sources claim, that Chelsea are keen on bringing the 18-year-old player at Stamford Bridge during January transfer window.

Neves joined FC Porto’s youth system at the age of 8. On 15 August 2014, aged only 17 years he made his debut in the Primeira Liga. At the same age he played his first game in the UEFA Champions League. Until now, Neves has made 24 appearances and scored one goal.

It is said, that besides the Blues also Manchester United and Real Madrid are interested in  Porto ace.


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Mourinho states Loftus-Cheeck was the best trophy of Chelsea Academy this year

With Falcao and Courtois out for injury, Pedro being a doubt, Oscar coming back and rotation of a couple of players announced by Mourinho, this is the expected line-up of Chelsea tonight against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the first game of the Champions League Group G:

CHELSEABegovic; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Baba Rahman; Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek, Ramires; Oscar, Diego Costa, Hazard.

MACCABI TEL AVIV -Rajkovic; Sphungin, Ben Haim I, Tibi, Ben Harush; Alberman, Nosa; Ben Haim II, Mitrovic, Rikan; Zahavi

Mourinho can also choose to to play with a 4231 system giving space to Willian instead of Ramires – that usually plays in a 433- or can also bench Hazard, not in his best moment, to play Oscar in his position with Willian or even Traoré starting.


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Former Chelsea defender Tal Ben Haim says that he learnt a lot working under Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, and that the Portuguese will have the English Champions prepared for the game against Maccabi Tel-Aviv tonight.

Ben Haim will line up against Chelsea for the first time since the leaving the club in 2008 when Maccabi Tel-Aviv, who are also playing at Stamford Bridge for the first time, open their Champions League campaign tonight.

The Israeli international played 23 times for the Blues and was one of Mourinho’s last signings in his first tenure at Chelsea. Speaking ahead of his return to west London, Ben-Haim reflected on his time at Chelsea and emphasised how difficult tonight’s game will be.:

“I’m very excited to play at this club, it meant a lot to me before and now to come back with Maccabi is even more special for me.

“I remember playing under the best manager in the world, I learnt a lot in four months under him. I regret it was a very short period because I feel I would have improved if I continued to play under him but that’s part of football.

“I’m sure he will prepare Chelsea very well. Even when we played against weaker teams he prepared us as if we were playing a Champions League final, so I’m sure they will take us very seriously.

“It’s difficult to prepare to play against these type of players because you cannot predict what they are going to do,’ he said.

“We will have a very tough game. You can watch videos for 20 hours but in a game they can change it quickly. We have to prepare to play against a very good team.”


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As Chelsea begin their Champions League campaign, we preview their game against Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday (19:45 GMT KO).

The Blues will try to hit the ground running in Europe, after having made their worst domestic start in 29 years.

Maccabi on the other hand will look to save as much face as possible, having turned many heads by just qualifying for the competition in the first place.

Last six games:

Chelsea: LDLWLL (including one friendly)

Maccabi: DDWDWD


Team News:

– Radamel Falcao is OUT after picking up a minor injury in training.

– Thibaut Courtois continues to be sidelined through injury.

– Oscar returns from injury.

– Eliazer Dasa will be missing through suspension for Maccabi.



– Chelsea have never played Maccabi.

– Chelsea have made their worst league start in 29 years, having taken just four points from their opening five games. Only one of those has ended in a Blues victory.

– Maccabi manager Slavisa Jokanovic spent two years at Chelsea between 2000 and 2002.

– Tel Aviv remain unbeaten this season in their league.

– They overcame Swiss side Basel to reach the group stage.


Starting XI last time out:

Chelsea (home vs. Crystal Palace, lost 1-2): Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Matic, Mikel, Pedro, Hazard, Diego Costa.

Maccabi (away vs. Ironi Kiryat Shmona, won 0-1): Dasa, Shpungi, Alberman, Zahavi, Ben Basat, Tal Ben Chaim, Rikan, Mitrovic, Tal Ben Haim, Carlos Garcia, Rajkovic


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Maccabi Tel-Aviv manager Slavisa Jokanovic hopes to put some pressure on Jose Mourinho and Chelsea during tomorrow’s match at Stamford Bridge.

Ex-Chelsea midfielder seems to be determined to fight against the Premier League champions during Wednesday’s evening. What is more, Jokanovic who is aware about Chelsea’s crisis will try to add to the mounting pressure on the Blues even if he knows it will be a really difficult task.

Jokanovic said:

“It makes no difference for us – it’s always a good time to play Chelsea, and I’m going to enjoy this opportunity to test myself, test my team and test the strength of Israeli football.”

“Of course we must respect the competition, the opponents and the manager. They are one of the strongest clubs in Europe, but we must respect ourselves too.”

“I can be surprised that Chelsea have taken only four points after five Premier League games, but that may give them extra concentration and extra motivation to fix their problems.”

“I would prefer, if possible, that they were more worried about their game with Arsenal on Saturday than us, but I don’t believe I’m going to find that.”

“Jose Mourinho is a great manager, one of the best in the world, and probably he drives a nicer car than mine, but I’m going to try and catch him in this game.”

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With Chelsea’s Champions League group stage to start tomorrow, we give a comprehensive round up of all of the Blues’ rivals.

Jose Mourinho’s side were drawn in Group G along with Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev, Portuguese side FC Porto and Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Dynamo Kiev


League finish: Champions – Ukrainian Premier League

Champions League finish: Didn’t qualify – Quarter finals of the Europa League (lost to 3-1 on aggregate to Fiorentina)

Manager: Serhiy Rebrov

Stadium (attendance): NSC Olimpiyskiy (70,050) – 2,401km away from Stamford Bridge

Champions League titles: None


The Ukrainians would, in the minds of most, be sure fire shots for third place in the group, with Porto to finish second. However, Kiev will want to impress and do better than what they did last year in the Europa League – punching above their weight will be the aim. They have to win games against Maccabi, home and away, and with Chelsea’s current form having nose-dived, they will fancy a full six points there too.


FC Porto


League finish: Runners up – Portuguese Primeira Liga

Champions League finish: Quarter Finals (lost 7-4 on aggregate to Bayern Munich)


Manager: Julen Lopetegui

Stadium (attendance): Estadio do Dragao (50,092) – 2,029km away from Stamford Bridge

Champions League titles: Two (1987, 2004)

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GOAL: WIN THE GROUP Mourinho’s former side will aim to take advantage of Chelsea’s current form. Most would predict them to finish second anyway – but the 27-time Primeira Liga winners will want to win the group most definitely. Despite having sold star man Jackson Martinez, Porto have the natural quality to be able to at least finish second in the group. Instead of it asking how good Porto are, one may want to ask how bad the opposition are.


Maccabi Tel Aviv


League finish: Champions – Israeli Premier League

Champions League finish: Third qualifying round


Manager: Slavisa Jokanovic SStadium (attendance): Bloomfield Stadium (14,413) – 5,703km away from Stamford Bridge

Champions League titles: None


It will be a complete miracle if Maccabi, whose side include former Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun, actually qualify. With this in mind, their aim will simply to be to save as much face as possible. No one expects anything of them… probably not even themselves.

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Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic spoke today to the press to preview Champions League game with Maccabi Tel Aviv:

“We’re all looking forward to it. The Champions League is very special. It’s the highest level of club football. You work a long time to get yourself to this level and test yourself against the best. I’m really excited and honoured.

“A good performance and a good result can really steer us in the right direction and kick our season on. Ultimately we are not satisfied with the situation. We are all winners so when you lose it’s disappointing.

“We’ve had a couple of days to dust ourselves down, regroup and focus on the next game. We are all motivated to turn things around and push Chelsea and this team where it belongs, which is with the best teams in the world and at the top of the table. We can’t forget what the group have achieved in the last year. We have some of the best players in the world.

“There’s always going to be a little hit on confidence when things aren’t quite going your way but if you’re experienced and you’ve seen the game you understand that it’s part of football and sports in general that there will be dips in form. It’s going to make us stronger going forward. We are all very much together.

“It’s great being part of this group. I have been around the guys for a couple of months now. We understand each other better every day. I’m enjoying the experience and the exposure. I’m playing for this team which is the main thing. There is not really too much time to think about anything else, it’s just about doing your job.

“I have kept in a good rhythm in terms of match practice. That’s never been an issue. Then you just go out and play. The manager gives you confidence to perform so from that point of view I feel comfortable with the team.”
Begovic also analysed his working experience with Mourinho:

From the outside looking in I always thought he was the best manager in the world and you can now see working with him each and every day what makes him the best manager in the world.

“The manager has led from the front from the first day. I have worked with him for the last couple of months and he has motivated us as much as ever.

“I have certainly enjoyed it. The lads enjoy it every day. We are very much together. We’re behind him. It’s difficult sometimes in football when things aren’t going your way but we remember what this team is and what this team is capable of”.

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Ex Chelsea manager José Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

José Mourinho’s press conference ahead of Champions League game with Maccabi Tel Aviv:

Champions League is a new competition [for the new season], we must start well because after this game we go to Porto and then to Russia, tomorrow it’s important to win”

“When people is not getting the success you work it’s normal to be frustrated and not happy”

“It’s so simple to accept that the result are not good: that’s football, and every season you have some teams that don’t start well, you can connect that with football, injuries, bad luck, bad moments…our problem will be a problem if problems are real, but our real problem is just that we don’t have good results. In some cases you gotta go back many years to find good result, in our case you gotta go back just three months”

“Why some managers can be in a bad situation for 5-6 years and I’m the only manager [that cannot have a bad moment]…I am the champion manager, so…”

“I like my squad and I know the consequences of making a couple of changes in my team, if I give the chance to other players, then you will say I have a problem with the players I will leave out but I’ve not to be worried about that you write but just about my team. Yes, I will do a couple of changes, I will give a chance to people that are working really hard”

“We have to go game by game, in the Champions League we need to qualify because it’s important for the club status and also economically, and also for us as professionals because we feel we belong to Champions League not to Europa League”

“Every team that is in the Champions League is a team with conditions to get a result, it’s a matter of logic: if Basel is good enough to beat Chelsea and Maccabi Tel Aviv is good enough Basel, so Maccabi can be good enough to beat Chelsea. Football is not maths, but I respect Maccabi, I studied them, it’s a good team. We are prepared for Maccabi playing the normal way with 4-3 in the middle or coming with 5 defenders, that is a little bit different, but it’s always good, and we gotta be prepared to everything”

“When I arrived here I said that I was special and happy, yes…What am I today? Special and happy”

“Bad third seasons? I had no third seasons with Porto and Inter, in my previous spell at Chelsea in the third season I won a FA and a League Cup and reached Champions League semifinals, in my third season at Real Madrid I won the Supercup, lost the Cup final and reached Champions League semifinals. Click Google instead of asking stupid questions.

“It’s the first time I go through such a bad start, I don’t have anything to show, to anyone”

“It’s impressive what Maccabi did beating Basel, that reached a very good level in Europe in the past years: they kicked out Liverpool from the Europa League and two years ago they beat Chelsea, so it’s impressive what they did”

“We know what we are champions of England – as our fans sing every match- it’s not because we started SO bad, and I want to stress that, we started SO bad,  that somebody can steal what we are: nobody can do that, so we know what we are, champions of England”

“I’m not here after a defeat just waiting for the the next game: my work is to do many many things, that’s also speaking with the players, analysing the games…I’m not here to tell you everything I do, but of course we’re not happy”

“I don’t have theories, I have opinions, also with my assistants, and then there is an aspect that is very important in football that is confidence level, and when you don’t have it, it’s a strange feeling”

“I don’t like to speak about opponent players”

“Baba is selected, Falcao has a little problem.

“We don’t prioritise competitions. I would lie if I tell you that we are doing well in the Premier League because we think about the Champions League.

“I’m fine, not happy. The new short haircut is not for a particular reason, I’m just adapting to the situation, not the situation of losing”

“Falcao is not not in the squad, he got something in the tendon training, nothing important”

“I like people to communicate, you don’t need to scream to communicate, but if it happens some times between people that like each other very much I don’t think is a drama.


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