Jose Mourinho is a great manager, make no mistake about it. The Chelsea coach also must have some sort of unseemly deal with the devil working. Sunday against Liverpool he fielded a Chelsea team that was hardly full strength, parked the proverbial bus in front of the goal and still managed to win 2-0 on the road at Anfield. How else do you explain Liverpool club legend Steven Gerrard slipping in first-half stoppage time, gifting Demba Ba what proved to be the game winning goal? (That’s obviously sarcasm. Sometimes folks don’t pick up on that.)
Anyways, in the dying seconds of the second half Chelsea found itself on a two-on-none breakaway with Fernando Torres and Willian walking in on Simon Mignolet undefended. Torres, a former Liverpool player, tapped it over the Willain who walked it in. It allowed Mourinho — and his vest — to do a little celebratory trolling of the home crowd. It wasn’t even close to what Mourinho did years ago at Old Trafford when he managed Porto, but it was still a classic villainous maneuver.
Mourinho’s DGAF attitude is impressive in a sense. If and when a team plays a defensive, cagey game against him — think vs. West Ham — he moans and groans about “19th Century” tactics. Once a big game rolls around, such as this week against both Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, Mourinho revs up the bus engine and parks it in front of Mark Schwarzer. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this — it’s a smart tactic after all and not easy to pull off for 90 minutes against the likes of Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling — but Mourinho’s continual hypocrisy is tough to stomach.
Liverpool still sit atop the table on 80 points, but Chelsea is still alive with 78 and two games remaining. Manchester City, about to kick off with Crystal Palace, is six points behind Liverpool but have three games left to be played. If City win out, they could trump Liverpool for the title on goal difference.
Given how life isn’t fair, expect Chelsea to somehow end up winning both the Premier League and the Champions League. Sigh.