Chelsea were shockingly defeated by Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium this weekend. Mourinho was disappointed his team allowed the opposition to stay in the match by wasting numerous chances on goal.
After going up via an early goal from Andre Schurrle, Chelsea looked threatening to close out the game early with another goal before half. Wave after wave of build-up pressure crashed upon the Stoke defense. However, as they continued to manage their way through the barrage, Stoke began to build belief through their resistance.
Just the same, Chelsea began to grow frustrated in their pursuit of a second goal that would put them more in control of the match. After watching countless opportunities slip through their fingers, Mourinho’s squad lost concentration and focus. This gave Stoke the opportunity they were looking for to get back in the game.
It would be a lapse of decisiveness from goalkeeper Peter Cech that would allow Stoke City striker Peter Crouch the opportunity to level the match just before half. Cech’s hesitation from a corner allowed Crouch space and time to drive a low shot past the keeper.
After the break, it was obvious that the goal had given Stoke hope. They came out of the gates with confidence and looked to take the match back to Chelsea. In the 50th minute, substitute Stephen Ireland scored with a beautiful low curler to give Stoke a surprising lead. It was only three minutes later, however, that Schurrle would convert a superb volleyed strike to even the score again.
Chelsea looked as though they were determined to take back control of the game and earn a victory, as they have in recent matches where they have come back from behind. This time, though, Mourinho’s luck had run out. Towards the end of the match, the play began to deteriorate and both sides enjoyed an unusually open run of play. It was in this time that Chelsea’s drive to win finally saw them exposed by a precise counter-attack.
In the 89th minute, winger Assaidi, on loan from Liverpool, broke for a run which left him one-on-one with Ivanovic. After cutting away and then back in towards goal and losing Ivanovic in the process, he fired a shot into the upper-right corner leaving Peter Cech with no chance.
After the match, Jose Mourinho’s comments sounded like a repeat of so many Chelsea post-match interviews this season. Although his side were able to create enough chances, they were not able to translate those chances into goals. He was reluctant to criticize his team. However, it is obvious that the defensive mentality of the squad is not up to the bar that Jose Mourinho-team’s are known for.
Chelsea don’t seem to have the determination to keep clean sheets, a distinctive quality of Mourinho’s past Chelsea squads. Mourinho can put the blame on his finishers not taking chances all he wants to. But if the Blues continue to leak cheap goals at the back, week in and week out, there is no chance of them winning the league this season.