Mourinho humbled as Chelsea destroy Man United
Blues inflict heaviest Premier League defeat on their former boss, as Conte whips up Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 4 Manchester United 0
Jose Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge ended in humiliation as Manchester United were thrashed 4-0 by Chelsea.
It was Mourinho's heaviest Premier League defeat as a manager and his anger was palpable in the post-match press conference. "It is one of those days when you give the advantage to opponents by doing nothing," he fumed. "We made incredible defensive mistakes, individual mistakes and you pay for that."
The errors began after just a minute when sloppy United defending by Daley Blind and Chris Smalling allowed Pedro to put the visitors one up. Defender Gary Cahill doubled the Blues advantage on 21 minutes when hesitant United defending from an Eden Hazard corner gave him the opportunity to fire the ball past David de Gea.
Hazard made it 3-0 just after the hour mark after a neat one-two with Nemanja Matic and United's misery was completed on 70 minutes when N'Golo Kante waltzed around a leaden visitors' defence to score their fourth.
The win, coming on a weekend when Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham all drew, lifts the Blues into fourth position, a point behind City, the Gunners and Liverpool, who all have 20 points.
"Football matches start at 0-0, this match started 1-0," said Mourinho. "It is like giving Chelsea chance to play how they want. Everything went in their direction."
Mourinho refused to pick out players to blame for the mauling, restricting himself to a general critical assessment of his side's performance. "When mistakes are individual it is hard for the manager and the players, they know the mistakes that were made."
It was Mourinho's first return to Stamford Bridge since he was sacked by Chelsea in December and though he received a warm and respectful welcome from the Blues faithful the humiliating result will hurt. It will also increase the pressure on his shoulders with United having collected just 14 points from nine games. Opposition fans revelled in his humiliation with many on social media mocking him as the man who's gone from the Special One to Special Once.
In contrast Antonio Conte's star is rising after a sluggish start to his reign as Chelsea manager. The humbling of United will erase memories of last month's 3-0 defeat to Arsenal, and the Italian was understandably ebullient in his post-match interview. "A fantastic start," he exclaimed. "We scored the early goal but we continued to play good football, intensity and possession create many chances. Today we didn't concede which was important. It was a type of win that increases the confidence."
Asked to explain the transformation in his side in recent weeks., Conte replied: "It was not a good situation when Chelsea conceded in every game, we change and now we are playing good football... I see the commitment in training and the players deserve this. We are improving, we must continue to work, only through the work we can improve."
As usual whenever Mourinho is involved, there was a whiff of controversy, with Sky Sports claiming that Mourinho had taken Conte to task over his touchline antics.
With the score at 4-0 the Italian manager could be seen urging the crowd to make more noise, and that apparently angered Mourinho who felt that his rival was rubbing his nose in defeat and the pair held a long conversation at the final whistle.
However, Conte made light of the issue. "If you want to cut the emotions, we can stay at home and I will change jobs," said the Chelsea boss. "I did something absolutely normal. I didn't do anything to humiliate Mourinho."