LONDON, United Kingdom, March 14 – Jose Mourinho said he is still Chelsea’s No 1 manager after the Manchester United boss was subjected to jeers at Stamford Bridge.
A fiery FA Cup quarter-final encounter – which Chelsea prevailed in 1-0 – saw Ander Herrera sent off by Michael Oliver after 35 minutes for two bookable offences on Eden Hazard.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte then had to be separated from Mourinho on the sidelines following a late challenge by Antonio Valencia on Marcos Alonso.
The incident led to jeers from Chelsea fans towards former boss Mourinho, who simply held up three fingers to remind them of the three Premier League titles he won during his time at Stamford Bridge.
“They can call what they want,” said Mourinho. “I am a professional. I defend my club and until the moment they have a manager that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I am the number one.
“When they have someone who wins four titles, I become number two. But until this moment, Judas is number one.”
Mourinho admitted he was pleased with his own reaction after his confrontation with Conte, before going on to praise his players for their battling display.
“I managed to control my emotions and reactions – and that’s good because this way I can be on the bench the next match,” Mourinho added. “My players, they need me.
“It’s better for me to be close to them so I think it was good for me to control it. I’m in the game and I communicated with my players and the fourth official. Nothing more than that.
“I’m really proud of my players. After Thursday in Rostov, with Rostov again on Thursday, I’m proud of the guys. Mr Oliver, goes home and can do his own analysis, because I don’t want to analyse his work.”
Manchester United had frustrated Chelsea up until N’Golo Kante’s 51st-minute strike, with David de Gea producing a number of impressive saves at Stamford Bridge.
But despite the pressure from Chelsea, everything was going to plan according to Mourinho – until Herrera was given his marching orders.
“We all saw the game and we can have different opinions and perspectives, but I think we all have to agree that there was a match until the moment Herrera saw the red card,” said Mourinho. “It was another match after that.
“Before that, I saw a game with the feeling that I was going to win, because everything was under control and the frustration was evident because they couldn’t play the way they always play.
“With 10 men it was very difficult for us because our strategy was to play with two players up front, and when you have two players up front the three central defenders couldn’t come forward with the ball.
“They were kicking long balls, they were kicking bad long balls outside of the pitch and then when we have one player less, they went for three against one and could bring the ball forward and be more dominant.”
-By Sky Sports-