Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

PSG 3 Chelsea 1: Jose Mourinho bemoans lack of 'real strikers' as Fernando Torres fails to make an impact

Manager also described Chelsea's defending for the third goal as 'ridiculous'
  • @SamWallaceIndy

Jose Mourinho bemoaned his lack of “real strikers” after Chelsea went down 3-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, leaving the club with a huge task to recover the tie.

Mourinho overlooked both available strikers Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, preferring instead to start with the wide attacker Andre Schurrle in a central position. His team went a goal behind to Ezequiel Lavezzi’s strike on three minutes before Eden Hazard scored a penalty. In the second half an own goal from David Luiz made it 2-1 to PSG and even at that stage the result was acceptable for Chelsea, but Javier Pastore’s late goal changed the balance of the tie significantly.

Mourinho said: “I'm not happy with my strikers' performances so I have to try things. And with Andre at least I know we have one more player to have the ball, one more player to associate with the other players, and even not being dangerous because he's not a striker, he can associate and the team can have control of the ball possession like we had. But football is not just about that. It’s also about scoring goals, getting behind, and that is for strikers. Real strikers. And I had to try.”

He lamented his team’s defending for Pastore’s goal, “a joke” said the Chelsea manager. When he was asked to respond to Gary Cahill’s verdict that the third goal was “sloppy”, Mourinho replied: “I say it was ridiculous - he says sloppy, I say ridiculous.”

“I think, by the strategic point of view, the team had great discipline and did the most difficult things to do in the game. They did very well. They stopped [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic when he dropped back to play in the midfield and between the lines, he was completely under control. [Edinson] Cavani was completely under control. The positional play from [Marco] Verratti and [Thiago] Motta was under control. Their full-backs which go forward were under control, and we recovered six or seven balls from dangerous positions.

“But we couldn't transform these half-chances into goals. And on top of that, we made defensive mistakes. The kind of individual defensive mistakes. So we paid the price. The ball goes to Lavezzi in the first goal, control half-volley, boom.

“Top player. Top striker. It's like this at this level: one chance, one goal. And the game was under control. We had 2-1 to score at the end of the first half, which would have been a fantastic result. We didn't score. Then we scored in our own goal, and the third goal  is a joke. Not a goal, a joke.”

On the return leg at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho said: ”It is a difficult job, not impossible, in football nothing is impossible, but difficult. With the players they have out of nothing they can score goals. It will not be an easy job. We are not a team full of talent to score goals - especially at this level, but you never know.“

He added: “We are losing 3-1, so what can be our approach? Defend? Difficult is when you draw 1-1 in Galatasaray. That makes a doubt. When you are losing 3-1, there is no approach. We have to try and win 2-0, 3-1, 4-1, there is no other approach.”

“We have nothing to lose now. We have to play thinking that it's possible. And, to be fair, I don't think Paris think it's over. I don't think it's done. They feel they are in a good position, but I think they know that it's not over.”