West Brom 1 Chelsea 1: Manager Jose Mourinho blames 'a lack of personality' for draw at West Brom
The two points dropped could see Chelsea overhauled by Arsenal and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League
Jose Mourinho conceded that his team lacked “a bit of personality” in failing to see out victory at the Hawthorns, where Victor Anichebe’s late equaliser denied them victory.
Chelsea lead the Premier League by two points but Arsenal and Manchester City can both overhaul them with wins on Wednesday night. Branislav Ivanovic gave Chelsea a first half lead but they failed to score a second and were denied the win when Anichebe got away from David Luiz to head past Petr Cech.
Mourinho said his team had given West Brom “the chance to feel more comfortable and [have] no fear. At the same time, my defensive line started playing too deep, too far back. We gave them the ball and were waiting for them to put it in the box. That's not our game. It's not how we feel comfortable. A lack of personality, perhaps. We must have the personality to get out, to not accept that pressure or to play that long in the last third. So a bit of everything. Their goal gives some truth to their reaction.”
He said that it demonstrated his side were not favourites for the title. “A ready [experienced] team, a complete team, kills this game,” he said. “Two-nil. Goodbye. We didn't.”
Mourinho dismissed the importance of a row between Cech and Ivanovic in the second half. “I don't know what happened, but what happened was good. I like it. I like the players to have emotion and, if someone has made a mistake, I like they speak between them.”
He added: “I think in the first half we had complete control without creating many chances, but complete control. Cech made not one save, their strikers not one shot, everything in control, passing the ball and waiting for spaces to open. It opened in the second half, but we were not strong enough to kill the game.
“They had a reaction and we couldn't cope with the reaction. The team stayed back. We started being too deep. I was feeling that, even if I put some attacking players on it wouldn't help because the team were really under pressure and it looked impossible for my defenders to get out of the first third of the pitch.”
Pepe Mel, still without a win at West Brom, was satisfied with his team’s performance. He said: “I'm proud of my players. It is good to have different halves: the first half, good defence and only two chances for Chelsea; and the second half, good transition, good attack and defence, and good mentality. If West Brom scored a goal earlier, we'd have gone on to win the match.
“It's the best performance we've had. Chelsea are a good team, and the players have a good mentality to win. Tomorrow is a day off and then we'll travel to Spain and, for me, it's like pre-season.”
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