Mour­inho raises prospect of be­ing fired

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY ROB HARRIS

De­fend­ing cham­pion Chelsea fell to its fourth loss of the Premier League sea­son on Satur­day, leav­ing Jose Mour­inho talk­ing about the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing fired.

In what ap­peared to be a pre­emp­tive move af­ter Satur­day’s 3-1 home loss to Southamp­ton, Mour­inho re­minded owner Ro­man Abramovich that the club has an un­wel­come rep­u­ta­tion for dis­card­ing man­agers.

In the six years be­fore Mour­inho re­turned to the Chelsea dugout in 2013 — af­ter pre­vi­ously coach­ing the team from 2004 to 2007 — Abramovich went through seven man­agers.

“If the club wants to sack me, they have to sack me, be­cause I’m not run­ning away from my re­spon- sibil­ity, my team,” Mour­inho told Sky Sports tele­vi­sion.

If los­ing four games out of eight so far in the league was not bad enough, Chelsea also lost at Mour­inho’s for­mer team, FC Porto, in the Cham­pi­ons League on Tues­day.

“If the club sacks me, they sack the best man­ager this club has had,” Mour­inho said. “And the mes­sage is again that ... bad re­sults, the man­ager is guilty. That is the mes­sage the play­ers have had for a decade.”

The de­ci­sion to re­call cap­tain John Terry back­fired and fel­low cen­ter back Gary Cahill was sim­i­larly sus­cep­ti­ble in de­fense as Mour­inho en­dured only his third league loss at Stam­ford Bridge as Chelsea man­ager.

Wil­lian had curled in a free kick af­ter 10 min­utes to put the cham­pi­ons in front but Steven Davis lev­eled be­fore half­time. Sa­dio Mane and Graziano Pelle net­ted in the sec­ond half to give Southamp­ton its first win at Chelsea since 2002.

Chelsea is only four points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone and 10 points be­hind fledg­ling leader Manch­ester City. Its latest set­back over­shad­owed Ser­gio Aguero’s five-goal per­for­mance as City trashed New­cas­tle 6-1.

City dom­i­nant per­for­mance in the sec­ond half against New­cas­tle pro­vided a re­minder of the team’s ti­tle cre­den­tials af­ter back-to-back Premier League losses and a Cham­pi­ons League set­back.

Alek­san­dar Mitro­vic headed New­cas­tle in front in the 18th minute and it took Aguero un­til three min­utes be­fore half­time to equal­ize.

But in a 13-minute spell at the start of the sec­ond half, Aguero added another four goals, while Kevin de Bruyne also got in on the scor­ing act for the lead­ers.

Aguero had only scored three goals in the first two months of the sea­son be­fore Satur­day and his tally might be have greater had he not been taken off with around 25 min­utes re­main­ing.

“In other games he was maybe hav­ing a lot of chances but not scor­ing,” City man­ager Manuel Pel­le­grini told the BBC. “But to­day he re­turned to his nor­mal amount of chances he cre­ates but this time he scored.

“He was not up­set about go­ing off. He was hav­ing treat­ment at half time and it was a risk for him to fin­ish the whole game.”

New­cas­tle is last in the stand­ings, still with­out a win af­ter eight games. North­east ri­val Sun­der­land moved ahead on goal dif­fer­ence with a 2-2 draw against West Ham. Sun­der­land threw away a 2-0 lead to leave Dick Ad­vo­caat still search­ing for his first vic­tory over the cam­paign.

It’s sim­i­larly bleak for As­ton Villa, which is a point fur­ther ahead with just one win to its name so far. Marko Ar­nau­tovic gave Stoke a 1-0 vic­tory at Villa Park.

There were vic­to­ries for two of the sur­prise pack­ages of the early sea­son: Crys­tal Palace and Le­ices­ter.

Le­ices­ter quickly bounced back from its first loss of the sea­son last week­end by win­ning 2-1 at Nor­wich. Jamie Vardy scored a sev­enth goal in eight league games for Le­ices­ter.

Yo­han Cabaye set up Yan­nick Bo­lasie’s header and then scored from the penalty spot as Palace beat West Bromwich Al­bion 2-0 to move ahead of Le­ices­ter into third place on goal dif­fer­ence.

A meet­ing be­tween pro­moted clubs Bournemouth and Wat­ford ended in a 1-1 stale­mate.


Chelsea’s Wil­lian, not pic­tured, scores against Southamp­ton goal­keeper Marten Steke­len­burg, left, dur­ing the English Premier League soc­cer match be­tween Chelsea and Southamp­ton at Stam­ford Bridge sta­dium in Lon­don, Satur­day, Oct. 3.

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