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Mourinho reluctant to revel in Wenger's woe

Updated: 2014-03-24 07:36
By Agence France-Presse in London ( China Daily)

Chelsea spoils manager's 1,000th game party with 6-0 thumping

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claimed his side's 6-0 demolition of Arsenal did not have any added significance despite coming in counterpart Arsene Wenger's 1,000th game in charge.

The Arsenal manager suffered a nightmare on his milestone occasion at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with Chelsea's supporters goading the Frenchman by chanting: "We want you to stay!"

 Mourinho reluctant to revel in Wenger's woe

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (right) and team coach Steve Bould react during their English Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in London on Saturday. Eddie Keogh / Reuters

The crowing home support also made reference to Mourinho's remark last month that Wenger was a "specialist in failure", due to Arsenal's nine-year trophy drought.

The Portuguese was unwilling to rub further salt into the wound, however, and when asked if he had taken extra satisfaction from spoiling Wenger's big day, he replied: "No."

"I wanted the three points and a good performance if possible. We got that. And on top of that, we got the result with some numbers, which is especially for our fans.

"They are special numbers and we work for the fans so if we can give them that, then it is even more beautiful. But no more than that."

Arsenal was reduced to 10 men in the 15th minute when Kieran Gibbs was sent off in a case of mistaken identity after teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had handled the ball on the goal line.

Mourinho conceded the numerical advantage had aided his team, but he felt Chelsea, which was 2-0 ahead by that time, had already asserted control of the game.

"Obviously to play against 10 men is easier," he said.

Mourinho reluctant to revel in Wenger's woe

"I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say it is the same to play 10 and 11. It is not the same. But the way we started this game, there is no doubt that this was our game."

Chelsea now lies four points ahead of Liverpool having played a game more and six points in front of Manchester City, which has three fixtures in hand.

And Mourinho, whose side bounced back from a surprise 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa last weekend, continued to play down Chelsea's title hopes.

Asked if his side had a chance of winning the title, he said: "Just a little. The momentum was broken last Saturday. Now we are trying to build another momentum.

"We were lucky after last Saturday to immediately have another match in the Champions League (against Galatasaray) with a big responsibility to push us to forget. We concentrated on the new challenge and the Champions League was important.

Mourinho reluctant to revel in Wenger's woe

"Then a derby match against Arsenal - and the most important match of the season for them, as their manager said on Friday - was even more important because our focus was there.

"We have had good performances this season, but every match is difficult to play."

Samuel Eto'o limped off for Chelsea with a hamstring injury shortly after giving the hosts the lead in the fifth minute, but Mourinho suggested the Cameroonian striker was not unduly worried by the setback.

"With his experience, he thinks it is not big," he said. "Before the big tear, he was able to say enough is enough, but a hamstring is a hamstring."

Wenger, whose side hosts Swansea City on Tuesday, did not attend the post-match media conference, with an Arsenal official explaining it was because the team bus was about to leave.

Instead, he told television broadcasters: "It leaves it in a very bad situation, but we want to respond. We had two difficult away games at Tottenham and Chelsea. If we had played two draws, we would have two points.

"Having won one, we have three points. But today (Saturday) is a huge disappointment, of course. When you don't turn up in a game of this stature - nobody takes that easy.

"We have to win the next game. That is what we have to focus on now and give a strong response."

(China Daily 03/24/2014 page24)