FC BASEL 2
CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho blamed mental weakness for his team’s indifferent start to the season, which continued with a shock home defeat to Basel in the Champions League last night.
Playmaker Oscar gave the Blues the lead on the stroke of half-time, but second-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Marco Streller saw Chelsea lose a group match in Europe’s premier club competition at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 2003.
Mourinho’s men have now gone four games without a win in all competitions following their worst start to a Premier League season in a decade, and the Portuguese boss believes Chelsea’s collective lack of character is to blame for their current form.
“The team probably is not a team with such a maturity and personality to face the difficult moments of the game,” said Mourinho, whose second honeymoon at the west London club has begun to sour.
“Against Everton [on Saturday] we played amazing and they scored in the last minute of the first half and after that you could feel the team was struggling in spite of dominating the game.
“This was a bit of the same. The team started pressing the opponent and tried to create and when the first negative moment arrives, which is the equaliser, the team shakes a little bit.
“The only thing you can do is to work. We go home very sad but we have to prepare for the next match and believe in what we do and each other and try to get a result against Fulham that gives the team a smile.”
Oscar scored his first goal since the opening day of the season when David Luiz broke from defence, squared to Frank Lampard. He found Oscar and the Brazil star located the bottom corner with a low shot across goal.
Oscar rattled the crossbar from 30 yards after the break but Basel stunned their hosts with the equaliser on 71 minutes when Salah exchanged passes with Streller and placed a low left-footed effort around Petr Cech.
Streller headed the winner 10 minutes later when he got ahead of his marker at the near post to glance in substitute Matias Delgado’s corner.