For all those appalled by Jose Mourinho’s treatment of Eva Carneiro - and that must be everybody except the most fervent and blinkered admirer of the Chelsea manager - this was just what the doctor ordered.
At the end of a week when Mourinho’s cherished public image took a battering, his tactics were also exposed as his team lost 3-0 at Manchester City where only their reserve goalkeeper Asmir Begovic prevented an even more humiliating defeat.
Carneiro, the doctor relieved of first team duties for doing her job correctly last week, was not at the Emirates Stadium, while Jon Fearn, the physiotherapist similar chastised by Mourinho, was missing from the sidelines after bandaging players in the dressing room before the game. True karma, then, would have seen City score when injuries to Gary Cahill and Diego Costa briefly reduced Chelsea to nine men, the scenario that so infuriated Mourinho in their Stamford Bridge draw with Swansea City. Not that 11 Chelsea players were able to deal with this vibrant City side, particularly forward Sergio Aguero, who finally gave them a 32nd-minute lead after forcing Begovic to make no fewer than six saves that ranged from the routine in the ninth minute to the sublime in the 17th.
What now for Mourinho, who was taunted by chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning” by City supporters? That won’t happen, of course, although owner Roman Abramovich was not imressed by the manager’s treatment of Carneiro and Fearn and would have viewed the satellite images of this performance from his yacht in the Mediterranean with dismay and disbelief.
He will also be anticipating a request for funds from Mourinho to add Everton’s John Stones to his squad. City have strengthened with Raheem Sterling, while the champions, on this admittedly early evidence and being generous, have stood still and in John Terry, substituted at half-time, and Gary Cahill they possess central defenders who were alarmingly vulnerable.
Mourinho, meanwhile, was miserable, a brooding, unsmiling figure prowling along the touchline, for once unwilling to make early tactical changes when they were demanded by City’s overwhelming superiority in midfield. He was dealt such a poor hand that even he could not play his customary Excuses Poker when events don’t go his way. After the draw against Swansea, he played the red card (the dismissal of Thibaut Courtois) and the medical card (Carneiro) to deflect attention away from their performance.
This time there could be no diversionary tactic because City’s superiority was plain to see on a day when Chelsea manufactured only one threat when Eden Hazard should have scored midway through a slightly improved second-half performance.
It hinted at a revival, but Vincent Kompany’s 79th- minute header and Fernandinho’s 85th-minute strike made the points secure for City, who achieved their first victory over a Mourinho team since 2004.
Manuel Pellegrini relished ending that sequence. Opposites attract? Not when the two men at opposite ends of the spectrum are Pellegrini and Mourinho.
They were reasonably civil to each other yesterday in public and shook hands at the final whistle, although the reality, as everybody in football knows, is that they can’t stand the sight of each other. That’s hardly a surprise where Mourinho is concerned since his arrogance grants no concessions to his own medical staff, never mind other managers he ranks below him. Pellegrini is usually above such animosity. He isw ell-liked and, in return, likes many of the managers who come up against him, but that does not include Mourinho, whose ways on and off the pitch is the antithesis of Pellegrini’s more extravagant style. It is a familiar statistic, but one well worth repeating: City, who believe they have a responsibility to entertain, scored 31 more goals than Chelsea in the past two seasons of the Premier League, but the London club’s more pragmatic approach has brought them four more points and an equal number of titles.
City continue to possess the greater firepower and, with a five-point advantage over Chelsea after two games, have laid down an early marker in the promotion debate. Mourinho’s response will be one of the more fascinating aspects of this Premier League season, although his insistence Chelsea were the better team in the second-half and the scoreline was “completely fake” indicates he is a man in denial.
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