Arsenal v Chelsea: Jose Mourinho puts his undefeated streak over Arsene Wenger on the line but fears grow after Sunderland loss
Mourinho has bemoaned his side's inability to kill off matches and allow the opposition a way back in which saw Sunderland come from behind to knock them out of the League Cup
Friday 20 December 2013
Manager Jose Mourinho is fearful of an end to his stranglehold over Arsene Wenger unless Chelsea can overcome continual failings in Monday's clash at Premier League leaders Arsenal.
In nine matches over more than nine years with Wenger, Mourinho has won five of them and drawn four.
Yet with the Blues demonstrating familiar failings in Tuesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final loss at Sunderland, Mourinho is wary ahead of the Emirates Stadium trip.
"Every time we miss a chance and the score is 0-0, 1-0, 2-1, 1-1, I feel the pressure," Mourinho told Chelsea TV following the extra-time loss at Sunderland.
"I feel that missing the chances, maybe later you are punished. We have this problem."
The Sunderland loss was Chelsea's seventh of the season, including the penalty shoot-out defeat against Bayern Munich in the European Super Cup, a result Mourinho does not consider as a defeat.
Mourinho added: "We were poor against Basle (but) in every match we lost in England, in the Premier League and in the cup (at Sunderland), we were the best team by far.
"We were always very comfortable on the pitch, we had unbelievable chances to score to kill the game. We don't do it.
"Late goals are a consequence of a team that doesn't kill an opponent. If you score two, three goals the opponent is dead and the opponent has no reaction."
Chelsea's strikers Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba have faced the brunt of the criticism for the poor performances in front of goal.
Now Mourinho has also hit out at the trio for failing to keep possession and sparking counter-attacks against Stoke, Crystal Palace and Sunderland which led to goals against the Blues, whose defence has been far from firm, with one clean sheet in the past seven games.
"In all the three situations we were punished on the counter-attack when our striker dropped back into midfield and lost the ball," Mourinho added.
The League Cup win at Arsenal, coming two days after the Premier League defeat of Manchester City, was Chelsea's high point of the season so far.
A repeat success at the Emirates Stadium could take Chelsea top of the Premier League at Christmas, the significance of which Mourinho has downplayed.
It is clear he sees plenty of room for improvement and his continued frustration has led to speculation Chelsea will delve into the transfer market in January.
But gone are the days when Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will write a cheque and players were signed whatever the cost.
Chelsea are sticking rigorously to Financial Fair Play regulations and Mourinho has suggested the club will only recruit next month in exceptional circumstances.
Whether the striker situation counts is open to interpretation, but Mourinho would likely have to offload one of Torres, Ba or Eto'o in order to sign another forward, particularly with Romelu Lukaku set to return next summer following his season-long loan at Everton.
Latest in Sport
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Spanish club resume £28m pursuit after fending Manchester United off Sergio Ramos
Karim Benzema to Arsenal: Transfer news live - Angel Di Maria to leave Manchester United, Emmanuel Adebayor to Aston Villa
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015 Third Test Day One report: England skittle Australia for 136, James Anderson takes six wickets, Ian Bell hits half-century
Nicolas Otamendi to Manchester United: Sergio Ramos is only defender of interest to Louis van Gaal
- 1 Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
- 2 Model's video shoot on the beach interrupted by sudden landing of a group of illegal migrants
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Labour leadership contest: I would never quit the party, says Liz Kendall