Premier League table is 'fake', says Mourinho
CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho turned his ire on English Premier League officials by criticising a "fake" table, after his side returned to the summit with a 3-0 win at home to Stoke City on Saturday.
Victory - secured by goals from Mohamed Salah, Frank Lampard and Willian - saw Chelsea leapfrog Liverpool, who played West Ham yesterday, into first place by a point.
It also left the London club two points in front of Manchester City but, significantly, Manuel Pellegrini's third-placed side still have two games in hand over both Chelsea and Liverpool today.
And that does not sit well with Mourinho, who believes it is wrong that the clubs vying for the title will not have played the same number of games until the final week of the season next month.
"The situation is the same. The table is, again, fake," the Portuguese said. "The table is, again, with lots of matches in hand.
"You look to the top part of the table and some teams, they have more matches than others.
"In the top of the league, we cannot say we need 'X' points to be champions.
"This, in the best league in the world, I don't think is the best image we are giving and it's not the best situation.
"To play matches in hand in the last week of the season, I don't think is adapted to this top football country."
Nevertheless, he was happy with a win that set Chelsea up for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
Chelsea face a tough task to remain among Europe's elite after a 3-1 first-leg loss in France, a reverse that followed a shock 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace.
But Mourinho was pleased by the way the Blues bounced back against Stoke.
"It took us 10 or 15 minutes to recover a little bit of confidence and self-esteem after two defeats," he said. "After that, the team played well."
Mourinho placed each of the goals Chelsea conceded in Paris in the "avoidable" category, but the Stoke shut-out was their eighth in a row at Stamford Bridge.
"If we concede one goal against Paris or keep a clean sheet, we have a chance for success," he added.
"If we concede two goals and have to score five, then we can't do the job. It is important to defend well against Paris."
Mourinho had also harsh words to say about his forwards after the first leg, claiming he did not have any "true strikers" - a direct reference to the lack of scoring prowess of Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, neither of whom started against PSG.
Torres was recalled for the Stoke game, but made little impact. Nevertheless, Mourinho was careful to offer only words of encouragement to the Spain striker this time round.
"As always, he gave everything he could," he said. "He worked hard for the team. It was a pity he didn't score a goal because strikers need goals."