AT STAMFORD BRIDGE
CHELSEA 2 vs MANCHESTER CITY 1
CHELSEA boss Jose Mourinho sought to defuse a row with his Manchester City counterpart Manuel Pellegrini last night, after appearing to provoke City’s bench with a wild celebration of the Blues’ late winning goal.
With the scores level following goals from Andre Schurrle and Sergio Aguero, Fernando Torres pounced on a defensive howler to grab a 90th-minute winner for Chelsea – prompting their manager to run across the visitors’ dugout and jump into a section of nearby home fans. Yet Mourinho insisted there had been a misunderstanding.
“Look, I think Chelsea’s guilty because I wanted to buy season tickets for my son and they gave me season tickets for my son behind the opponent’s dugout. So I went for him, I promise. And next match you will see him there again,” Mourinho said. “If they believe that my son is there, great. If they don’t believe me, I apologise if they feel that I did something wrong.”
And the Chelsea boss insisted that the managers’ failure to shake hands at the final whistle does not indicate a strained relationship, despite having clashed with Pellegrini during his time as manager of Real Madrid. “Many other times in other countries, we shake hands before the game and that’s enough and at the end of the game we don’t. In Madrid normally I never did it, so I don’t feel it is a lack of respect,” Mourinho said.
“If he was sad because of the result, I understand. If he was sad thinking that I was doing something wrong by going to celebrate there, I accept that too.”
The home side had opened the scoring on 33 minutes. Torres – who just minutes earlier had struck an easy chance over the bar from close range – showed City left-back Gael Clichy a clean pair of heels and crossed low for Schurrle to poke in for the first goal of his Chelsea career.
City were level soon after the break when Aguero beat Petr Cech at his near post with a left-footed shot from an angle high into the roof of the net. Yet disaster struck for City right at the end when Matija Nastasic headed a long ball past out-rushing goalkeeper Joe Hart, allowing Torres to run on and knock the ball into an unguarded net.