Mourinho is not untouchable as Chelsea sink to another defeat
Blues boss returns to the place where his legend was born, and his reputation suffers another blow with 2-1 defeat to Porto
Porto 2 Chelsea 1
Jose Mourinho's legend was born at Porto, where he turned a team of underdogs into champions of Europe. But now it could be starting to crumble, and the poacher turned gamekeeper got a taste of his old medicine on his return to Estadio do Dragao as Chelsea's miserable start to the season continued with a 2-1 defeat in the Champions League.
Before heading back to his old stamping ground Mourinho warned his misfiring Chelsea stars that no one was safe from the axe, and he proved true to his word as the underachieving Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic were left out of the side. But the statement, big though it was, had little impact and the Blues suffered their fifth defeat of their season.
One player who has survived the cull was Branislav Ivanovic, but the full-back, who was captain for the night was at fault for Porto's first goal as he was beaten by Yacine Brahimi before Andre Andre scored the opener for Porto. Willian equalised for Chelsea but former Blues defender Maicon scored the winner from a corner.
Afterwards Mourinho blamed "two ridiculous moments" for the defeat, and praised his side's determination. But that did not stop the watching media from putting the boot in.
"There’s a reluctance to criticise Mourinho because there’s a fear that he’ll leave you with egg on your face," says Tony Cascarino of The Times. "He’s been so successful, so brilliant, so clever, that we're waiting for the turnaround to happen, but it's becoming increasingly clear that things aren’t changing. Chelsea are conceding two goals in every game and it feels like Mourinho is now part of the problem."
The manager has made it clear that no-one at Chelsea is untouchable, he adds, but that must also include him.
"Mourinho needs something dramatic to change if his team are to turn their season around," says Alistair Tweedale of the Daily Telegraph. "He spent money this summer on reinforcing a league-winning squad but few thought Chelsea were sufficiently strengthened and that continues to prove to be the case. Once again their squad looked thin and they succumbed meekly to another defeat"