Mourinho may rest key players for Reds game

BLOW FOR THE BLUES: Chelsea goalkeeper Cech (left) is out for the rest of the season after injuring his arm in this collision with Atletico's Garcia on Tuesday.


    Apr 24, 2014

    Mourinho may rest key players for Reds game


    CHELSEA boss Jose Mourinho has hinted he will rest a number of key players for his side's crucial English Premier League (EPL) game

    in Liverpool on Sunday to concentrate his squad's efforts on the Champions League.

    Mourinho's men hung on for a 0-0 draw away to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final on Tuesday night to make them favourites to reach a third final in six years.

    However, the clean sheet came at a cost, as Mourinho confirmed goalkeeper Petr Cech and captain John Terry will miss the second leg due to injuries that forced them to be replaced at the Vicente Calderon.

    The two injuries could not have come at a worse time for Chelsea.

    Cech will miss the rest of the season after landing heavily and injuring his right arm following a collision with Atletico midfielder Raul Garcia, while Terry limped off with an ankle injury.

    Chelsea trail leaders Liverpool by five points with three games to go in the EPL and Mourinho said he would name a weakened side should he be given permission by his superiors at the club.

    "My priority is the Champions League," said the Portuguese.

    "I can't decide by myself. I think that is a decision where I have to listen to the club. I am just a piece, the manager, no more than that and I have to listen to the club.

    "I know what I would do. I would play the players that are not going to play (in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final) on Wednesday."

    He also launched an attack on the EPL's decision-makers for forcing his side to play on Sunday, with only a two-day break before the return leg.

    "I think the fact the match is on Sunday puts the problem not in my hands but in the hands of people who decided the game is not on Friday or Saturday but on Sunday.

    "We are representing English football. Unfortunately we have only one English team in the European competition. Spain has four and it still gave Atletico all the conditions to allow them to succeed."

    Mourinho set out with a very defensive-looking line-up at the Calderon as Ramires and Willian played wide to prevent Atletico's full-backs rampaging forward, while John Obi Mikel and David Luiz added extra muscle in midfield.

    However, the former Real Madrid boss insisted he did not set out solely with the intention of keeping the scoreline blank.

    "Nobody starts a game thinking about a 0-0, but sometimes the game goes in a certain direction where you feel you have to be safe, not concede and try to score in one of the few chances you have," he said.