Chelsea v Atletico Madrid: Jose Mourinho remains undeterred with defensive approach as Chelsea aim for Champions League final
Chelsea need to win against Atletico tonight to reach the final in Lisbon and Mourinho admits his recent defensive tactics will remain if it continues to produce results
Wednesday 30 April 2014
Jose Mourinho has vowed to stick to his footballing principles despite recent criticisms as he bids to guide Chelsea to the Champions League final with victory over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was among the fiercest critics of Mourinho's methods after Chelsea's 2-0 Premier League win at Anfield on Sunday, but congratulated his former mentor on the success on the eve the Blues' semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho is in the last four for a fifth successive season and aiming to win the European Cup with a third different club after the 2004 triumph with Porto and 2010 win with Inter Milan.
Standing in his way is Atletico after a goalless first leg, with his former club Real Madrid awaiting the victors in the May 24 final in Lisbon after their stunning 5-0 aggregate success over defending champions Bayern Munich.
"In this moment football is full of philosophers, full of people that understand much more than me," Mourinho said.
"The reality is always the reality. A team that doesn't defend well, doesn't have many chances to win.
"A team that doesn't score a lot of goals, if (it) concede lots of goals it's completely in trouble. A team without balance is not a team.
"When Atletico have the ball we have to defend; when we have the ball we have to attack.
"When they have the ball we have to try to stop them scoring; when we have the ball we have to try to score.
"This is the football that I know. (When the) opponent has the ball you have to work defensively, you have to be organised.
"You have the ball you have to try to play according to the qualities of your players and your opponent.
"In this moment - depending on the coach and the club - the critics speak.
"If your opponents are very fast on the counter and want space behind your defensive line, if you give them that space you are stupid."
Read More: Mourinho buries the hatchet with Rodgers
Simeone constructs Atletico's defensive wall with Godin at the heart
Comment: Chelsea forced to get on the front foot
A strong defensive display is of paramount importance if the Blues are to advance to a third European final in three seasons following the 2012 Champions League triumph and last season's Europa League win.
Captain John Terry missed both showpiece occasions - the first suspended, the second injured - but is fit to feature after an ankle injury. Goalkeeper Petr Cech (shoulder) is out.
Mourinho believes his talisman deserves to play in another Champions League final after missing the decisive penalty in 2008 before lifting the trophy in his playing kit in Munich two years ago despite not taking part in the match.
"The Champions League owes him something," Mourinho said.
Terry felt his chance of European glory had gone with his Moscow miss which handed Manchester United the trophy before his trophy-lifting in Munich went viral on the internet.
"It meant an awful lot to me that night, playing or not playing," said Terry, who is in discussions over a contract extension but ruled out an England return.
"I felt as though I contributed and so did many other players who didn't play and didn't get as much stick as me at the time."
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