Mourinho pleads with Uefa to spare Porto from penalty

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The Independent Football

Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho has faxed a letter to Uefa pleading with them not to punish his old club Porto after he was spat on by a visiting fan at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho has faxed a letter to Uefa pleading with them not to punish his old club Porto after he was spat on by a visiting fan at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho is keen to preserve good relations with Porto fans ahead of the return match on 7 December and it is understood he wrote to the Uefa chief executive, Lars-Christer Olsson, yesterday pointing out their exemplary behaviour in the past and asking for leniency from the disciplinary committee.

The incident occurred during the warm-up before Chelsea's 3-1 win and was mentioned by Uefa's match delegate after being reported to him by referee Herbert Fandel.

The fan was ejected from the ground and the hosts Chelsea are not expected to face any repercussions, but Uefa have opened a disciplinary inquiry against Porto.

Under normal circumstances Porto would be fined but Mourinho's intervention could lead Uefa to take a different approach.

A Uefa spokesman said: "The incident has been mentioned by the Uefa delegate in his report and we have opened a disciplinary investigation. Security issues normally involve the home team but the side playing away can be dealt with instead if it's their fans involved."

Mourinho made light of the incident after the 3-1 win that left Chelsea needing just three points from their remaining four games to qualify for the knock-out stages. "I had my back to the crowd as I was watching my players warming up when it happened," he said. "I just went over to greet the supporters, but this is a normal thing. I can understand it. Some people love me, and others don't love me that much. But that's just life.

"The opposing fans do this many times. Unfortunately, these things happen. But there were also many people who wanted photos and paid me compliments."

A Portuguese newspaper reported that the fans who spat in the Chelsea manager's direction included a man who allegedly threatened to kill Mourinho if he won last summer's Champions' League final against Monaco.

He apparently feared that if Porto won, Mourinho would be lured away by another team.

Generally, however, the behaviour of the Porto fans was exemplary, and they greeted their side's first away defeat in seven matches with something approaching fatalism.

The confidence which Chelsea have demonstrated in remaining unbeaten in all competitions thus far into the season was expressed in one statistic: two minutes.

That was all the time that elapsed between the 68th minute goal from Benny McCarthy which narrowed the home lead to 2-1, and the diving header from captain John Terry which effectively settled the match. Chelsea's response might have been a manifestation of their coach Jose Mourinho's will power. It was the response of a team which, as their increasingly influential midfielder Frank Lampard points out, has virtually forgotten what it is like to lose.

"Our confidence is increasing all the time and our self belief just gets bigger," said Lampard, whose free-kick Terry converted. "I've never been on a run like this. There's a confidence flowing through the team.

"There's a lot of hunger and desire at this club and a lot of young players who want to win things."

The manager certainly looked satisfied after what was a convincing victory over the team he led to the Champions' League trophy last season.

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