City silence Mourinho's war of words

FIRST BLOOD: Chelsea's Petr Cech (centre) and Cesar Azpilicueta (right) can only watch in horror as Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic scores the first goal, during their FA Cup fifth-round match at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. City won 2-0.


    Feb 17, 2014

    City silence Mourinho's war of words


    HAVING escalated a war of words with his rivals, Jose Mourinho closed a week of petty sniping by admitting "football is at peace", after his Chelsea side were beaten by Manchester City in the FA Cup.

    Following verbal spats with City manager Manuel Pellegrini and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in the run-up to the match at the Etihad Stadium, Mourinho might have hoped his team would do the talking for him in Saturday's fifth-round clash.

    As it was, his Premier League leaders were muted as City rediscovered their scoring touch in a one-sided 2-0 defeat that left the Chelsea boss facing questions about whether his bravado had backfired.

    Mourinho and Pellegrini exchanged barbs last week about money spent in the transfer market and which team were favourites.

    After calling Wenger a "specialist in failure" on Friday, the Portuguese coach, who claims everything he says and does is mind games, was asked if his own side had failed him.

    "My team didn't fail, but City played much better than us and when the best team wins, football is at peace," he told reporters.

    "The situation is simple to analyse - they were the best team, they won.

    "Today proved how difficult it is to win here, which shows how well my team did in the last game."

    After beating Saturday's opponents 1-0 in the league 12 days ago, Chelsea looked short on ideas and failed to threaten a City side who looked increasingly comfortable after taking the lead through Stevan Jovetic on 16 minutes.

    When Samir Nasri doubled the lead in the second half with a close-range tap-in, there was no way back.

    With City facing Barcelona in the Champions League knockout phase in Manchester tomorrow, Pellegrini and City maintain an interest in all four competitions.

    But the Chilean insisted that progress in the FA Cup did not provide him with any sense of revenge over Mourinho.

    "It's easy for me to talk about tactics when you win," said the Chilean. "But it is not revenge. I really don't think we had any tactical problems against Chelsea the other day.

    "We knew exactly the way Chelsea play, they knew how we play, but players always make the difference during the match. Today was not a tactical masterclass.

    "We have two important games, today and Tuesday, and so we mixed different players. Now we start thinking about Barcelona, but today was very important to have the performance we did in all senses - defending, in possession, attacking - I don't think Chelsea had a single chance to shoot at goal."

    Pellegrini, however, refused to assess his team's chances of capturing an unprecedented quadruple of the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup titles.

    "We never talk about that," he said. "I always say we try to fight in all competitions as far as we can, but it is one step more in one competition."