Mourinho’s side slump to humiliating 4-0 defeat
Chelsea supporters taunted Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho with chants of “You’re not special anymore!” as his Stamford Bridge return yielded a humiliating 4-0 defeat yesterday.
With seven major titles across two spells, Mourinho is Chelsea’s most successful ever manager, but his return to his old stomping ground ended in one of the most chastening results of his career.
Pedro Rodriguez opened the scoring after just 30 seconds and Chelsea did not look back. Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante completed an emphatic Premier League victory.
It was a fitting tribute to former Chelsea vice-chairman Matthew Harding, whose death in a helicopter crash 20 years ago was marked prior to kickoff with banners and a giant flag.
Antonio Conte’s side have now won three consecutive league games without conceding a goal and climbed to fourth place, just a point below leaders Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Mourinho, in stark contrast, has already tasted defeat three times in the league with United, who trail City by six points ahead of Wednesday’s Manchester derby in the League Cup fourth round.
Mourinho was greeted warmly by injured captain John Terry and former assistant Steve Holland prior to the game, but Chelsea’s hospitality vanished within 30 seconds of kickoff.
Chris Smalling inexplicably allowed Marcos Alonso’s pass from Chelsea’s left to bounce past him and Pedro nipped in to round United goalkeeper David de Gea and roll the ball home.
In the second half, Jesse Lingard sought to sound the revolt for United, wriggling away from a pair of Chelsea players and unleashing a crisp drive that Thibaut Courtois had to push away.
But in the 62nd minute it was game over.
Nemanja Matic’s pass down the insideleft channel found Hazard, who checked inside Smalling and steered a shot into the bottom-right corner.
Kante completed the rout, darting between Smalling and the sleep-walking Paul Pogba to tuck away his first Chelsea goal since his close-season switch from Leicester City.
Meanwhile, Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton yesterday, but the performance again raised questions over the title credentials of Pep Guardiola’s team.
The stalemate was a fifth consecutive game without a victory for City, as Kelechi Iheanacho’s eighth goal in his last 11 league games cancelled out Nathan Redmond’s first-half opener for Southampton, which owed much to an extraordinary mistake by City defender John Stones.
City, after winning their first 10 games under Spanish coach Guardiola, have suffered a major dip in form.
On Saturday, an 81st-minute Gareth McAuley goal prevented Liverpool from provisionally going top in the Premier League as they defeated West Bromwich Albion 2-1.
Needing a two-goal win to move above temporary leaders Arsenal, Liverpool took a 2-0 lead through Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho, but McAuley’s strike left them in second place on goal difference.
Arsenal had earlier been held to a 0-0 draw by Middlesbrough, while fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur played out a goalless stalemate at Bournemouth.