Maribor vs Chelsea: Blues players failed to heed warning, says Jose Mourinho after draw

Chelsea boss warned his players it would not be so easy this time

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The Independent Football

There was some scoffing when Jose Mourinho said before Chelsea’s Champions League tie against NK Maribor in Slovenia Wednesday night that their 6-0 win over the same opponents a fortnight earlier made the task harder.

However, the Chelsea manager was right as it made his own players complacent. “Many, many times surprises happen when people are not fully focused, when they believe the game can't be a difficult one,” said Mourinho. “Only when Maribor scored did the players realise the game was in danger.”

He added: “I was conscious of it a bit before the game, but I was not successful in passing over that message. If I cannot convince the players that the game is difficult and you have to play from minute one, obviously it's my responsibility.

“In the first half we were not good. We played very slow, no intensity, no creativity. It was easy for Maribor to control the game and reach what they wanted to reach, a 0-0.

“When they scored [at the start of the second half] the situation was a bit more difficult for us. After that I thought we played magnificently: creative, fast, good dynamic, a lot of chances to score. We deserved to win. We scored two goals, two very good goals. The second goal, the referee decided to disallow.

Mourinho absolved Eden Hazard of blame for the failure to win despite the Belgian missing a late penalty. "When a player plays so well like Eden Hazard did for me - he was absolutely fantastic - he can miss a penalty and still be the best player in my team.

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