Stoke City tighten screw on Mour­inho

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Marko Ar­nau­tovic re­turned to haunt Jose Mour­inho with a spec­tac­u­lar win­ner as Stoke City sank Chelsea 1-0 yes­ter­day to plunge the Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons’ man­ager’s fu­ture into doubt.

Mour­inho dubbed Ar­nau­tovic “un­man­age­able” dur­ing their time at In­ter Mi­lan, but the Aus­tria for­ward may have had the last laugh with an ac­ro­batic 53rd­minute vol­ley at the Bri­tan­nia Sta­dium.

It con­demned Chelsea to a third straight league de­feat, their sev­enth in to­tal, and left them in 16th place in the ta­ble, height­en­ing the risk that Mour­inho, ab­sent from the game due to a sta­dium ban, will be sacked.

Handed a one-game sta­dium ban for be­rat­ing referee Jon Moss at half-time of his side’s re­cent de­feat at West Ham United, Mour­inho watched the match at a nearby ho­tel and with the in­ter­na­tional break due to be­gin, he may not be given a chance to re­turn to the dug-out.

Chelsea’s fans, at least, con­tinue to be­lieve in the club’s most suc­cess­ful man­ager and showed their sup­port by don­ning Mour­inho masks and chant­ing his name.

In con­ti­nu­ity with their mid­week win over Dy­namo Kiev, Chelsea pro­duced a lively firsthalf dis­play and went close when Diego Costa forced Stoke goal­keeper Jack But­land to save with his legs.

But they fell be­hind eight min­utes into the sec­ond half when Chelsea old boy Glen John­son’s right-wing cross was in­ad­ver­tently helped on by Jon Wal­ters to Ar­nau­tovic, who volleyed in su­perbly at the far post.

Pe­dro Ro­driguez hit the post and Eden Hazard put a shot inches wide as Chelsea pushed for a lev­eller, while Loic Remy hur­dled But­land late on, but in try­ing to stay on his feet he lost bal­ance and shot off-tar­get. — AP

STOKE-ON-TRENT: Chelsea's French striker Loic Remy (L) tries to re-gain his bal­ance for a shot dur­ing the English Pre­mier League foot­ball match be­tween Stoke City and Chelsea at the Bri­tan­nia Sta­dium in Stoke-on-Trent, cen­tral England yes­ter­day. — AFP


Stoke City 1

Chelsea 0

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