Chelsea would not have collapsed under Mourinho, says Kezman

Mateja Kezman, Fenerbahce's former Chelsea striker, last night added to the pressure on Avram Grant. The Serb said that if Jose Mourinho was still manager, his old team would not have collapsed as they did in Istanbul on Wednesday night.

Having been 1-0 up and dominant, Chelsea lost 2-1 in the Sukru Saracoglu. Kezman, who was bought and, after one season at Stamford Bridge, sold by Mourinho, said: "Chelsea without Mourinho are not the same. Under him, they were a machine. There were no surprises, no mistakes. Everything worked fantastically. Now they have ups and downs. We've watched the last couple of games and against Middlesbrough and Sunderland they made four or five mistakes.

"There's not the same spirit in the team any more. There are rows at training. It's not the machine it used to be. You can see that something is not working. If [Frank] Lampard goes out of the game after 75 minutes it means something is wrong. If Mourinho had been in charge of this match of course it would've been different. He is a very different coach."

There will be agreement with Kezman but it is harsh to blame Grant. First-half supremacy suggested he picked the right team and until Colin Kazim-Richards' 64th-minute goal there appeared only one winner. As at Barnsley in the FA Cup the blame belongs more with the players.

There is a second chance, but the second-leg, on Tuesday, will be no stroll. Fenerbahce have a poor away record but in the previous round, defending a one-goal lead, they recovered from two early goals in Seville to force extra-time before going through on penalties.

"[Wednesday] was our worst performance in the Champions League, yet we managed to beat one of the greatest teams," said the Brazilian midfielder Alex. "We've got the lead and I'm sure we can finish the job," said Kazim-Richards.

"We showed we can compete with Chelsea," said Kezman. "Why shouldn't we believe in ourselves? With this team and spirit anything is possible."

Team spirit is an area Grant may need to address, given Lampard's petulance upon being substituted. Lampard, who had been ill, refused to comment on the match. The midfielder's contract remains a live issue. His current deal expires next summer and talks have been put on hold.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
Voices
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
News
i100
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 appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas