Manchester City 3 Chelsea 0: John Terry hauled off at half-time to combat Chelsea's 'fragility' says Jose Mourinho

Terry was taken off for the first time by Mourinho in league match

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho condemned the "fragility" of his side’s defence last night after substituting captain John Terry at half-time – the first time he has withdrawn the player in a Premier League match.

Mourinho hinted that it was the poorest defensive performance he has ever seen from his Chelsea side and castigated the defence for a failure to carry out plans laid all week to deal with Sergio Aguero, who evaded Terry and Gary Cahill to score the first of City’s goals as they eviscerated the champions.

Terry maintained a silence as he left the Etihad last night and Mourinho admitted the Chelsea captain had not been happy to learn he was being removed at the interval. “He was not dancing in the dressing room and he was not having a bad reaction,” Mourinho said. “He did what everybody does. The manager says, ‘this guy comes in and that guy goes out’ and they all understand. They wait for the team, they change or shower and go back to the bench like normal.”

Terry’s struggle to deal with balls played behind the defence in both Chelsea’s opening games will intensify Mourinho’s pursuit of Everton’s John Stones, with a third offer in the region of £30m expected before the transfer deadline, despite Roberto Martinez’s insistence that the player is not for sale. Mourinho claimed that he decided to remove 34-year-old Terry because he needed his fastest defenders, in order to operate a higher defensive block. He would not elaborate on why Terry, not Gary Cahill, had been substituted to this end.


City dominated Chelsea and deserved their win, leaving Manuel Pellegrini categorically to reject Mourinho’s baseless suggestion that the win had been “fake” and that the champions had deserved something from the game.

“I think that in the first half we deserve at least three or four goals,” the Chilean said. “The second half was more equal. Chelsea played better but I just remember one chance that Joe [Hart] saved and at the end when we were 3-0 up they had another one. Our team played better and 3-0 is the minimum we deserved.”

City may add Belgian forward Kevin De Bruyne to an already impressive attacking force as early as this week, with Klaus Allofs, the sporting director of De Bruyne’s club Wolfsburg, stating last night that a deal – expected to be £42.5m plus add-ons taking the price to £47m – could be done in the next few days.

Pellegrini refused to discuss whether Valencia had persuaded City to take central defender Nicolas Otamendi as part of a deal which would reduce and possibly wipe out the sum the Spanish club owe for striker Alvaro Negredo. It is unclear why City would welcome such a deal, given the £42m they spent a year ago on Eliaquim Mangala.

Mourinho said that the signing of Baba Rahman from Augsburg, which has been concluded after left-back Filipe Luis was allowed to re-join Atletico Madrid, provided vital defensive cover.