Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho admitted to Sky Sports after his side’s 0-0 draw with relegation candidates Norwich City that he was surprised by the Canaries’ tactics. Norwich played a very compact and defensive game and rarely ventured outside their own half which was not expected considering the fact that a draw did them virtually no good in their struggle for Premier League survival. At this point, Norwich will be relegated if Sunderland take two points from their last two matches but with the way they have been playing the Black Cats just might take all six.
Norwich manager Neil Adams praised his side’s efforts after the match but it was not a good result for them. While getting a point at Stamford Bridge may look good on his resume, it will do little to help them avoid the drop. Jose Mourinho said essentially the same thing in his post-match comments because their defensive approach was not one that he expected which may explain his team selection.
Jose Mourinho on Norwich City’s tactics:
“We had one team that needed three points to have a chance to survive, and they didn’t play to win. You had a team that needs one point to finish third, and in the Champions League group phase, and that team played like the one needing three points so it was a bit of a contradiction.
(Their gameplan) surprised me but anyone plays like they want. It’s not my responsibility, it is their responsibility. We were waiting for a kind of crazy game, especially in the second half, where they would gamble everything to try for a last chance to survive, but they didn’t. Even worse – they defended much more but that’s their problem. We have not a right to criticize.
I think we lost 45 minutes because in the first half we were very slow. Like the weather, players were playing very slow with no intensity. In the second half the intensity was completely different, the dynamic too. The players they wanted it much, much more and we tried everything. We know we have no chances to be champions and we know we need one point to finish in the group phase of the Champions League, which obviously is not a cup for us but affects the next season. It affects pre-season and it was important for us to finish third.”
Today was just another example of Chelsea being unable to break down teams that come to Stamford Bridge or otherwise strictly to defend. Credit to Neil Adams and his Norwich City side for battling Chelsea until the end and getting a few half chances of their own but they may be bragging about this point at Stamford Bridge in the npower Championship next season.
Follow us on Twitter at @PrideOLondon
Like us on Facebook at The Pride of London