Mourinho rues lack of cutting edge

27 February 2014 06:47

Jose Mourinho had no complaints about Chelsea's Champions League last-16 tie with Galatasaray ending in a draw, but was again frustrated by his side's lack of cutting edge.

Having seen Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City lose their first-legs 2-0, the Blues bucked the trend with a hard-fought 1-1 draw in the intimidating Turk Telecom Arena.

Fernando Torres put the west Londoners on course for victory early in a dominant first-half display, only for missed chances to allow Aurelien Chedjou to equalise for Galatasaray in an improved second half.

It is not the first time this season that Chelsea have paid for failing to kill off teams and Mourinho knows that pattern needs to change.

"That's our team," the Portuguese said. "Some other teams have three chances and score three goals. We have five and score one.

"This is not a criticism of the strikers, like sometimes people think. It's just in this moment the profile of the team we have.

"We create but we arrive in the last third of the pitch and the last decision, the last choice, the correct pass, the right movement is something that is not right at the moment. We are not a team who kills opponents.

"We are paying for that in the Premier League, losing points, and in the Champions League we might have got a different result. But they all give everything.

"Every one of them on the pitch fight for each other, work for each other, have tactical discipline. I cannot be critical.

"They got a very acceptable result in a stadium where it's difficult to play and difficult to win. I think they did a good job.

"We were unfortunate in the first half because we should have scored more goals, and unfortunate in the second half too because we should not concede a goal at a corner. But the result is fair."

They may not be returning to England with a victory, but the away goal gives Chelsea a decent chance of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.

The second leg in three weeks will be a special occasion as it will see Didier Drogba return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since ending his eight-year association with the club.

The Ivorian's last kick for the Blues was the penalty which won them their first ever Champions League, securing his place in club folklore and a hero's reception.

"He's going to have the best reception of his life," Mourinho said. "Stamford Bridge will show the love and respect they have for a legend in our club, and during 90 minutes he wants to win. So if he wants to win, he's not our friend for 90 minutes."

Drogba was one of many sub-plots brought by the last-16 clash, with another pitting Mourinho against Inter Milan predecessor Roberto Mancini.

Amongst the war of words, Mancini said before that match that Galatasaray only had a 20 per cent chance of progressing to the quarter-finals at the expense of Chelsea.

However, the Italian believes the manner in which his side improved on a poor first-half to secure a 1-1 draw has improved that to "40 per cent".

Those comments were laughed off by Mourinho - "if football was maths, I'd coach in the third division" - but it is clear that the former Manchester City boss has been buoyed by his side's improved display.

"I think that in London it will be a difficult game, but after our second half the players probably understand that we can go through," Mancini said. "It will be difficult but I think that second half was really important for us.

"We played with fear in the first 25 minutes and we conceded a lot of space. They wanted this, this counter-attacking, because they are strong on that. We conceded, made three or four mistakes and played with fear."

Source: PA

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