Atletico Madrid v Chelsea: Jose Mourinho puts on a special sulk to mark his return to Madrid for Champions League semi-final

 

Madrid

Jose Mourinho returned to Madrid today ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Atletico on Tuesday in the midst of an extraordinary sulk and claiming that his side could still keep their composure after Saturday’s meltdown in defeat to Sunderland.

Over the course of an extremely recalcitrant press conference performance at the Vicente Calderon stadium, the former Real Madrid manager said that his players “always behave in relation to the situation”, although he refused to discuss any of the details of a dreadful weekend for his side.

He would not talk about the dismissal of his assistant Rui Faria, the elbow by Ramires on Sebastian Larsson that went unpunished or any expansion on his comments on Saturday about the referee Mike Dean and his boss Mike Riley, the head of the referees’ organisation. Mourinho even refused to acquiesce to requests from local reporters that he respond to questions in Spanish, instead answering in English each time.

FOLLOW OUR LIVE BLOG OF THE MATCH HERE

Mourinho is without Samuel Eto’o, his first choice striker, who has not travelled to Spain, having suffered what the club said was a “small knee irritation”. Fernando Torres is back at his boyhood club and is a candidate to start the game, although Mourinho could choose to play Andre Schurrle as his striker as he did in the first leg against Paris Saint Germain in the previous round.

 

Ashley Cole is hopeful of a return to the team at left-back with Cesar Azpilicueta moving to the right side. Branislav Ivanovic is suspended for the game.

Read more: Torres welcomed back to by delighted fans
Diego Simeone, Europe’s unsung mastermind
'Courtois is focused,' says Simeone
Graceless reaction of Chelsea manager

The Chelsea manager would not discuss the Uefa ruling that permits the on-loan Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to play against his parent club over the two legs. Doing little to conceal his feelings about the decision he said: “I think that [with] Uefa decisions it’s better not to comment, you just accept. If you don’t accept, don’t make any comments. Uefa decide and I think managers don’t comment.”

The Atletico manager Diego Simeone said that there was no issue for Courtois facing the club that signed him from Genk three years ago. Simeone said: “He [Courtois] is full of enthusiasm and knows this is a very important moment for the career of any footballer, but also for our club. There is a third-party situation and he will try to give the best for everyone, the fans, the directors and his teammates.”

Asked whether he felt that the 21-year-old, in his second season on loan at Atletico, had been the subject of psychological pressure from Chelsea, Simeone was adamant that if that was the case it had no effect. “It’s not an issue that worries us. We have no worry about this situation. No comment.”

Raul Garcia, the Atletico, midfielder was the most outspoken about the prospect of facing the Chelsea manager. He said: “Mourinho doesn’t scare us obviously. It’s only a game of football. We know we have an opponent in front of us and they will do all they can to go through. But if we are anything ourselves, we are a very competitive team with huge ambition that want to win. We have no fear but we do respect them.”

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable