Just a victory away: Mourinho downplays Premier League title talk

Chelsea manager refuses to celebrate prematurely after 3-1 win over Leicester

Afp April 30, 2015
Chelsea superbly dismantled an in-form Leicester side who had won their last four games in their battle to avoid relegation. PHOTO: AFP

LEICESTER: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists the English Premier League title has not been secured just yet despite moving to within one victory of mathematically clinching it.

The West Londoners ensured they would be crowned champions if they beat Crystal Palace at home on Sunday after coming from behind to win 3-1 at Leicester on Wednesday.

Goals from Didier Drogba, John Terry and Ramires ensured victory after Marc Albrighton had given Leicester a shock early lead on the stroke of half-time.

“I cannot touch the trophy, we still need two or three more points to be completely safe,” said Mourinho. “The fans can’t celebrate yet. I hope they can play the match with us and push the team. That’s the spirit we have in the camp. We have to be ready to play against Crystal Palace.”

Chelsea won four and drew one from their five games in April. “I don’t think nerves will be a problem,” said Mourinho. “It’s fantastic because this April was the month everyone was waiting for Chelsea to slip and lose points.

Mourinho opted to start Petr Cech in goal with Thibaut Courtois not 100% fit and has not ruled out a return for Diego Costa on Sunday either, despite his only playing 12 minutes in the whole of April. “Costa has a chance for the weekend but we don’t need to risk players,” he added. “If one goalkeeper is 98 per cent, you play the one who is 100 per cent.”

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson rued the loss of Andy King (hamstring) and Robert Huth (calf) to first-half injuries and they are now expected to miss Saturday’s home game with hapless Newcastle.

“Losing games is not something I’m particular pleased about,” said Pearson. “It was difficult for us because we had to make substitutions because they were not something we would have looked to have done.

He added that his players gave their all in the game and that he could not ask more from them. “I don’t want to bemoan what happens during games. Chelsea played very well in the second-half. Their quality was apparent, our players gave everything. We can’t be overly critical of certain situations.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st,  2015.

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