Mourinho: I'd rather be in City's shoes

TOO 'OLD' FOR THIS: After scoring a goal during his match against Tottenham, Eto'o (left, with teammate Hazard) poked fun at remarks made by Mourinho about his age. The Chelsea player, who turns 33 today, raced to the corner flag, but abruptly slowed down, putting his left hand on his back and stooping to mimic old age.


    Mar 10, 2014

    Mourinho: I'd rather be in City's shoes


    JOSE Mourinho insisted he would prefer to be in Manchester City's position in the English Premier League title race, despite his Chelsea side moving seven points clear.

    Chelsea's 4-0 victory over Tottenham on Saturday took Mourinho's team to 66 points, while Liverpool and Arsenal lie second with 59 points, having played one game less.

    City are two points further adrift, but have three games in hand on Chelsea and have a superior goal difference, prompting Mourinho to claim the advantage in the battle to become champions lies with Manuel Pellegrini's team, who played Wigan in the FA Cup quarter-finals last night.

    "I would like to be in their position. If they win the matches, they're top of the league," he said.

    "If City win the 12 matches they have, they're champions. They have the destiny in their own hands.

    "I would prefer to have destiny in my own hands. It doesn't depend on us. It depends on them."

    The Chelsea manager did concede that his side had all but achieved their initial objective of guaranteeing a top-four place, after moving 13 points clear of Tottenham in fifth place.

    The manager added: "The top four is for us to lose. We are 13 points from Tottenham, and 15 from Manchester United and Everton.

    "This game could have reduced the gap to fifth to seven points. But, at this moment, it is 13 points and I really don't believe we'll lose that distance.

    "So, objective No. 1, top four, is in our hands. Now, let's go for objective No. 2, top three with direct Champions League qualification."

    Samuel Eto'o put Chelsea on their way with the 56th-minute opening goal, which he followed with a celebration that poked fun at off-the-record comments made by Mourinho about the striker's age.

    The manager had sparked controversy last month when footage of him suggesting that Eto'o may be older than he claims - he turns 33 today - was broadcast by a French television channel.

    After scoring the goal, Eto'o raced to the corner flag, but abruptly slowed down, putting his left hand on his back and stooping to mimic old age. The celebration met a flurry of approval on Twitter, with one picture quickly garnering more than 1,000 retweets.

    Mourinho said: "I didn't suggest (the celebration) but we knew it (was coming). We knew it. We thought it was more than fine.

    "The best way to defuse the situation is to make fun of a funny situation, so it was good."

    Younes Kaboul's foul on Eto'o earned the Tottenham defender a red card and allowed Eden Hazard to add a 59th-minute second from the penalty spot.

    And substitute Demba Ba capitalised on two late defensive mistakes to score twice in the final two minutes of normal time.

    Eto'o was included in the starting line-up only because Fernando Torres picked up a groin injury in the warm-up.

    Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood admitted his side's chances of forcing their way into the top four were now "slim".

    "You can't legislate for the capitulation - you can't have that. Lack of characters, too many of them too nice to each other, and you need to show a bit more guts and not want to be someone's mate all the time. They need to drag it out of each other," said an angry Sherwood.

    "It hurts me and I won't forget about this when we hit the motorway, but some might.

    "It's not a penalty and not a sending-off, but the game was finished after that. We've got the Europa League on Thursday and we owe the fans a performance. We let them down again on the big occasion.

    "You won't finish in the top four if you don't beat top teams. You're miles away unless you beat the top teams.

    "There have been too many blips. The club talks about fourth, wake up."