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Disappointing draw but still top of the League

Leon of Silvren2010-05-01 19:04:20 +0000 #1
Last season, Bolton became the first team to win at Stamford Bridge. This season, they became the first to knock two goals past the Blues.

Chelsea have been no strangers to scoring goals from set pieces this season. Conceding goals has not been a problem. To concede two, both from set pieces, absolutely unthinkable.

On an afternoon when Arsenal surprisingly dropped two points at home to West Bromwich Albion, with a two goal cushion how on earth did we end up squandering two points?

Clearly deeply disappointed, José Mourinho refused to blame his players for the uncharacteristic blip.

“I never speak about my players when they make big mistakes. I never consider one player individually guilty of something. If somebody’s guilty, it’s the manager, not the player,â€? he stated.

Yet his team went into this match fully prepared and clearly knowing what to expect from their opponents. A couple of hours before the kick-off, they were watching videos of Bolton set pieces, similar to the two from which they were later to concede.

“I showed them everything: throw-ins, corners, lateral free-kicks, frontal free-kicks. We spoke about it. We decide man-to-man marking space responsibilities. We did our best. What can you do? Shoot the ball when the ball goes in the air?â€? he shrugged of Bolton’s style of play.

“I don’t think many people in this country like the way Bolton plays. But to be fair to them, they are a very difficult side. They kick long balls up, they’re strong in the air for the first ball, they have a lot of bodies to make big challenges in the box and to fight for the second ball. They work a lot on set pieces and they are dangerous. They score goals and they are effective.

“In spite of that, we had enough situations to kill the game, especially after the 2-1. We had two incredible chances by Eidur: one I think one metre from the goal-line and another one he hit the post.

“We had a lot of chances to kill the game but we couldn’t and we know in the last period they always do this. They kick long balls up, they look for faults, they put six, seven, eight players in the box. Every throw-in is even more dangerous than a corner and they make it difficult. From nothing they can create danger.

“I don’t like this style of play. It’s not defensive. It’s an ugly way of attack.

“It’s a bad result,â€? Mourinho acknowledged. “I want to win every game so every time we get a point or lose a game, it’s a bad result.

“Today was one of these days where we had very good conditions to get three points but at the end of the game, we conceded a goal and lost two points.

“What else could we do? The only thing we could do is when you have chances to score the third goal, is score the third goal and kill them. So for me that’s the mistake because the other thing you cannot control.â€?

Mourinho was also disappointed not to have the injured Robert Huth available on the bench.

“I would have put him on for the last 10 or 15 minutes because in front of my back four, he wins everything in the air.

“I had to play Glen Johnson because we were winning 2-1 and I thought in set pieces he is an extra player to have. I didn’t play Scott Parker, I didn’t play Wayne Bridge, because for this game they can do nothing. This was a game for big guys.â€?

Even Bolton boss, Sam Allardyce was surprised by the charity afforded to his team.

“When their second goal went in, I thought it was the end for us. Two-nil down and they’ve only conceded no more than one in a game all season.

“The goal for us lifted our spirits, got us back in the game and made Chelsea more nervous and not as fluent. We’ve nicked a point and not many teams will come here and get anything, let alone a point,â€? Allardyce crowed jubilantly.

Mourinho though was insistent that despite conceding two goals for the first time this season, the result would not dent the team’s confidence.

“We are top of the League. We started the day with 32 points, now we have 33. Our confidence does not change. My happiness with the players does not change.

“Of course I am not happy but I prefer to give credit to the opponent because they made it difficult for us.

Looking towards the next match, Mourinho also revealed that with Chelsea top of their Champions League group and already through to the next stage, they do not need a result from Wednesday’s match against Paris St Germain.

“But of course we will play for a result. There’s no doubts about it. We know that three teams are involved in the fight to be second and we must play fair and honest and play the next two matches to win.â€?

However he will use the squad rotation system for this match, Carlo Cudicini replacing Petr Cech in goal. But Mourinho stressed that this decision had been made after we played in Moscow and was no reflection on Cech’s performance against Bolton.

Record-signing Didier Drogba could also make a welcome return, if not Wednesday then possibly next weekend against Charlton.



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