Chelsea: The Blues capitulated when it mattered the most against the determined Parisians
Jose Mourinho is a man after my heart. In my opinion, the greatest manager of my lifetime, the Portuguese’s managerial ingenuity took a hit in front of his own fans (who he has for most part of the season ripped apart for their lack of support) when PSG came from behind twice to end Chelsea’s chances of qualifying for the last eight of Europe’s premier club competition. The way they did it? The Mourinho style. I don’t think I have ever seen a team with so much heart in my football life. Maybe I have and probably forgotten.
In a game expected to be a cake walk for Chelsea, PSG fought like wounded lions that they were. With 10 men, they dominated all aspects of play, thanks to Thiago Motta and Marco Verratti. But for Edinson Cavani’s wastefulness, they could have been home and dry before the end of normal time. Bjorn Kuipers, one of the best referees in the world, was given the whistle for this great game but he let himself and his status down by sending off Zlatan Ibrahimovic early on for a tackle that was worth a yellow at worst.
His decision was most likely influenced largely by the barrage of blue shirts. Chelsea players, including Diego Costa who ran 50 yards, were all up in the face of the Dutch official who had to brandish the red card at the Swede. Without their talisman and top scorer, le Parisien wore their hearts on their sleeves and put on a show that will be talked about for years and years to come. It was Blanc who took centre stage rather than his more illustrious managerial colleague. A turnaround in fortunes that meant justice was served in the end.
The rather shambolic and classless display by the hosts when Ibra and Oscar went in on a 50-50 was the talking point of the match even above the excellent game played by the French champions. All 9 outfield players (Oscar was rolling on the floor like he was hit by a truck) surrounded Mr Kuipers, who is no stranger to the big occasions having been placed in charge of the 2013 Europa League final, the 2014 Champions league final among others. He caved in under pressure and off Ibra went.
Daniel Taylor’s piece on the utterly scandalous display by Chelsea players is the best I have read in my life. I almost stopped writing mine in order not to look like a befuddled clown in the eyes of those who have digested the aforementioned piece.
As Daniel Taylor said, Chelsea are not the only guilty ones. Mourinho may have Rui Faria but Diego Simeone also has German Burgos, Gustavo Poyet has Mauricio Tarrico…all of whom are ‘the smaller the pip, the louder the squeak’ kind of people, except Burgos whose frame alone can scare the hell out of whoever is unlucky to be his victim. All attack dogs mentioned take it upon themselves to literally pounce upon match officials when they feel decisions have gone against them.
Last Wednesday, justice was served when PSG, despite all the unfair treatment meted out on them, qualified for the quarter-final of the Champions League at the expense of the more fancied Chelsea. The match represents Mourinho’s worst ever. Not the scoreline but the way it played out. He may have been a brute and an ogre in the Spanish League, but his rants and constant complaints this season have far outdone all his previous atrocities and misdemeanors.
The man who is driven by the fear of failure every single week will taint his legend if he continues this way. Even Cesc Fabregas has become an Oscar nominee in football’s version of playacting.
Our beautiful game is becoming a terrible nightmare with all these situations repeating themselves every time.