Chelsea v Arsenal: Jose Mourinho turns attention to Premier League after Champions League progress, revealing begrudging respect for Arsene Wenger

The Blues bloss says if he reaches 1,000 matches in charge of one club, as Wenger will do this weekend, he would be 'the happiest manager in the world'

Jose Mourinho's attention returns to the Premier League title race after Chelsea regained their place among the European elite by advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals.

The Blues will discover their last-eight opponents - with potential sub-plots aplenty - on Friday following Tuesday night's 2-0 defeat of Didier Drogba's Galatasaray, which completed a 3-1 aggregate triumph.

On Saturday the Blues will bid to respond to the loss at Aston Villa in the Premier League showdown with Arsenal, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger's 1,000th game in charge.

Wenger was branded a "specialist in failure" by Mourinho last month, but the Portuguese hinted at a begrudging respect as he hopes to one day emulate the Frenchman's landmark achievement.

"If Chelsea gives me the chance to arrive to 1,000 matches I'll be the happiest manager in the world," said Mourinho, the Premier League's only Champions League-winning manager.

Read more: Five things we learnt from Stamford Bridge
Mancini apologises to supporters after loss
Without Drogba, Mourinho has different aims
Mourinho turns attention to Arsenal
Player ratings

Mourinho has twice won the European Cup, with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010, but fell short with Chelsea during his memorable first spell.

There are numerous possible mouth-watering ties, against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid while Mourinho has not yet ruled Manchester United out of contention as David Moyes' men bid to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit to Olympiacos at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

"We wait for the draw. It doesn't matter who," Mourinho said.

"All the big candidates to win the competition. Welcome to any one of them."

The Blues suffered the ignominy of becoming the first holders to exit the competition at the group stage last term, responding by winning the Europa League, but goals from Samuel Eto'o and Gary Cahill sealed a 2-0 second-leg win against Galatasaray and a quiet Drogba.

The Ivory Coast striker, scorer of 157 goals in 341 appearances for Chelsea, scored the decisive penalty in the shootout with Bayern Munich in 2012 and was presented with a silver boot by the Blues prior to kick-off.

"The most difficult thing was the way his team played," Mourinho said.

"When you are a striker, if your team doesn't produce attacking football you feel a lonely man.

"He couldn't do much. Gary and John (Terry) had a fantastic performance. We controlled the game so well that we could never see Didier in dangerous positions."

Gala boss Roberto Mancini was scathing of his side's performance.

The former Manchester City manager said: "We did nothing on the pitch. We played really bad."

Mancini led City to the 2012 Premier League title and was asked his opinion on the current four-team title race.

"I think that Manchester City's the best team," Mancini added. "They have the best players.

"I don't know if Liverpool, also doing very well in this moment, can win. I think it will be a fight till the end between City and Chelsea."

PA

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
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.

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine