DCSIMG

Jose Mourinho’s Aston Villa fury has no let-up

Ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba returns to Stamford Bridge as a Galatasaray player. Picture: Reuters

Ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba returns to Stamford Bridge as a Galatasaray player. Picture: Reuters

  • by MATT McGEEHAN
 

Angry Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho continued to seethe about events at Aston Villa on Saturday on the eve of the crucial Champions League last-16 second leg against Galatasaray.

Along with Willian and Ramires, Mourinho was sent off by referee Chris Foy during a feisty encounter which Chelsea lost 1-0 in a blow to their Barclays Premier League title chances.

Mourinho called for the Premier League to consider not appointing Foy for Chelsea matches in future. Asked if he had spoken to Ramires about the challenge on Karim El Ahmadi, the Portuguese said: “Don’t you have other things to ask about that game more important than Ramires’ tackle on minute 92? You think that in that game the most important thing was Ramires’ tackle in minute 92?

“I don’t want to answer, because I feel that what happened on minute 92 was a consequence of the other 92 minutes that we played before that. I’m sorry if I’m wrong or if you don’t agree with me, but I think if you want to ask you should ask about what made that tackle happen. But that’s just my opinion.”

Mourinho’s dismissal was his second of the season. He was fined £8,000 by the Football Association following his touchline dismissal against Cardiff in October. He declined to elaborate on the events in the previous 92 minutes of action at Villa Park.

Asked specifically what he was referring to, he said: “Everything that happened. I bring the game into disrepute. I cannot.”

Earlier, Mourinho was asked if he expects a reaction from his players following the loss. The Portuguese answered a different question. “We cannot have a reaction to Villa Park, because if we have reaction we bring the game into disrepute,” he said. “We just close our mouth and we keep going.”

Ramires and Willian are free to play in European competition, but left-back Ashley Cole (knee) missed training yesterday and is expected to miss out tonight.

Mourinho was happy to discuss more freely the Galatasaray game, in which Didier Drogba will return to Stamford Bridge, where the striker spent eight years as a Blue, scoring 157 goals in 341 appearances including the decisive penalty in the 2012 European Cup win. The match also features Mourinho’s predecessor as Inter Milan boss returning to English football.

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini had two hours earlier spoken of his willingness to go to dinner with Mourinho if his Gala side won tonight’s match. Asked whether he would be happy to have a post-match meal with Mancini, Mourinho said: “No, because I have no interest. After the match I don’t do things because I win or because I lose. After matches what I have in my mind to do, I do. It doesn’t matter if I win or if I lose. And in my plans after the game, I don’t have a meal with somebody that has the same job as I have and this is the only thing we have in common. The fact we both are football managers. Nothing else.”

Drogba plans to keep his emotions in check as he seeks to eliminate Chelsea.

The 36-year-old, whose final act after eight years as a Chelsea player was scoring the decisive penalty in the 2012 European Cup win over Bayern Munich, returns to his old stomping ground with the Champions League last-16 tie finely poised at 1-1 after the first leg. The Ivory Coast striker admitted he would feel mixed emotions when he was asked if he would celebrate the winning goal at Stamford Bridge, if he scores it.

“With all the respect that I have for this club, for the fans and for the players, I might not celebrate, but if we win I’ll be happy,” said Drogba, who was speaking at Stamford Bridge. “I’m really happy to come back and to see some familiar faces. It’s a big game. The Champions League is a big competition and it means a lot for my team. I’ll find a way to play.

“It’s very difficult to play against Chelsea, but it’s not going to be difficult for me to put myself into the competition mode. Now I belong to Galatasaray. I need to be professional. Of course there will be emotions. Like the first leg to see my ex-team-mates and also the Chelsea fans in the stadium was special.

“But then there was the game and the game as you could see was tough, was good, with high intensity. I think it’s going to be the same tomorrow.”

Prior to the draw in December, Mourinho hoped for his side to be reunited with Drogba, who netted 157 goals in 341 appearances before leaving for a spell in Shanghai.

Mourinho, who signed Drogba for Chelsea from Marseille in 2004, was given a rousing ovation when he made his return to the Blues dugout in August after a near six-year absence and hopes the Ivorian will experience similar acclaim.

In tonight’s other last-16 tie, Real Madrid host Schalke at the Bernabeu in what looks mission impossible for the German side after a 6-1 first-leg defeat.

 

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