Chelsea have 'nothing to lose'

PRESENT FOR MOURINHO: Stoke City's Wilson Palacios (left) and Steven Nzonzi challenging Chelsea's Oscar during their FA Cup match on Sunday, which happened to be Chelsea manager Mourinho's birthday. Chelsea won the match 1-0.


    Jan 28, 2014

    Chelsea have 'nothing to lose'


    CHELSEA were paired with English Premier League title rivals Manchester City, and Arsenal were pitted against Liverpool in an explosive FA Cup fifth-round draw on Sunday.

    But Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho refused to allow that prospect to dampen his birthday celebrations on Sunday, following a 1-0 fourth-round win over Stoke City.

    The Portuguese will take his team to the Etihad Stadium, where City have won all 11 Premier League home games this season, for a mouth-watering last-16 clash.

    "Our priority for the season is to improve," explained Mourinho, who won the trophy in 2007 during his first spell at the London club.

    "The best way to improve is difficult things. We play against the best team twice in 15 days, in the best stadium. The stadium where they win every game, the stadium where they smash every team, the stadium where they score four or five goals against every team.

    "We are going to go there with a good attitude.

    "We have nothing to lose. They have everything to lose."

    Chelsea and City, who met in the semi-final at Wembley last season when City won 2-1, are considered the biggest challengers to current league leaders Arsenal, but Mourinho insisted that Manuel Pellegrini's side would approach the tie as favourites.

    "One team is an ended product, the other team is a team that needs to improve and has a long way to go," he said.

    Arsenal, chasing their first piece of silverware since winning the FA Cup in 2005, were unbeaten against Liverpool in their last four meetings and notched up a 2-0 home win over the Merseysiders in November.

    The teams are due to face off again at Anfield in the league a week before their encounter in the Cup at the Emirates Stadium.

    Cup holders Wigan, who scored a major upset when they were relegated and yet beat City in last year's final, will travel to Cardiff, who were promoted to the Premier League at the end of last season.

    Everton, whose manager Roberto Martinez left Wigan after taking them to FA Cup glory against City, will face his old club Swansea in one of four all-Premier League ties.

    The other match between top-flight sides pits League Cup finalists Sunderland against Southampton at the Stadium of Light.

    The ties will be played on the weekend of Feb 15.