Relaxed Mourinho not surprised by United's win

April 17, 2006

Jose Mourinho insists he has no preference where and when Chelsea win their second Premiership title after they set up a showdown clash against Manchester United in a fortnight.

Chelsea despatched 10-man Everton 3-0 with effortless ease thanks to goals from Frank Lampard - his 20th of the season in all competitions - Didier Drogba and Michael Essien.

Everton had Lee Carsley sent off for a reckless challenge on Drogba but Chelsea's victory leaves them nine points clear at the top and needing just a draw against United to clinch back-to-back titles.

United had earlier cut Chelsea's lead to six points with victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane and while Mourinho admitted watching the first half, he continues to maintain that he is unconcerned with their results.

Mourinho said: 'We are close, more than ever, but we are not there yet.

'United's win over Tottenham was no surprise. I only watched the first half but for me it was a normal result.

'But I just want to be champions. Some people prefer to win it at home, some people prefer to win it away, but for me it is just to be champions.

'The next game is Manchester United and it is the match we want to win to be champions but if it was Blackburn or Newcastle, the desire would be the same - we just want to be champions.

'If the supporters want us to be champions at home then give us an extra push and maybe that extra push can take us to the silverware. The important thing is to finish the season in front of United. In the Premiership, the best team wins. It is about 10 months and 38 matches, it is not down to luck. It is about 10 months and the best team wins.'

Everton manager David Moyes moaned that Chelsea's winger Arjen Robben should have been booked by Rob Styles when he arrived on the field of play, without waiting for permission, some 40 seconds after the start of the second half.

Moyes was also unhappy with Styles' decision to show Carsley the red card but Mourinho did not believe it was a turning point.

But Mourinho said: 'He was having some strapping in his ankle because he was injured.

'I think the referee had an easy game - the kind of game where you don't see the referee or his influence.

'The red card was not a turning point. It was not from that moment that Chelsea were better or that we won the game. Chelsea were already in front and controlling the game.

'It was the kind of match that you felt from the beginning we were going to win.'

Mourinho was also full of praise for Drogba, who once again produced a performance that belied recent accusations that he is a cheat and a diver.

'You don't need artists, you need everyday players and I think we bought a very, very good player,' declared Mourinho.

'He is playing fantastic now but it was once the fashion to chase Drogba and in another period to chase Michael Essien. After that it was fashion to chase Drogba again and tomorrow it will be the fashion to chase somebody else in Chelsea. But he is playing amazingly.'

Moyes bemoaned three decisions which he felt did not help their cause on an afternoon when Chelsea dominated.

He disagreed with Carsley's sending off, was infuriated by a back-pass decision that ultimately led to Chelsea's third goal, and was unhappy with Robben's re-entry on to the pitch without permission after the start of the second half.

'I thought my players did well today,' said Moyes. 'I watched Chelsea with 10 men against West Ham and they were awesome.

'We made a mistake for the first goal, we should have released the ball earlier but I can't fault my players for the way they kept at it.

'But I thought the sending-off was harsh - it was not a sending-off. It was a booking. No way was it a sending-off. It ruined the game for everybody - for those who paid to see a game. They saw a game that wasn't a brilliant event after that.

'Maybe some of the referees get starstruck at Chelsea. What happens when a player runs on the park after the start of a game? He should have been booked. Was he? Is it not entering the field without permission? How long after that was the sending-off? A minute or two?

'The pass-back was a mis-controlled back-pass to the goalkeeper and that does not constitute a back-pass.

'Chelsea are a very good team but I am disappointed we didn't get enough of the decisions today. Whether you were neutral, Chelsea or Everton fans, the decisions went against Everton today. They might not have changed the outcome of the game but they would have helped our cause a lot better.' end