Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho moved to play down speculation about his relationship with his star striker Diego Costa after the two appeared to have a run-in with each other just before the half-time interval of the club’s Champion’s League match last night.
Mourinho gave the Brazilian-born Spanish striker some harsh words as the game against Maccabi Tel Aviv headed towards half-time, but Costa refused to take it lying down and raged back at the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’.
Many people watching the game were surprised when Costa emerged to play the second half of the match, assuming that Mourinho would substitute him for such a flagrant display of dis-respect. He did play the second half, however, though he didn’t shake his manager’s hand or salute the Chelsea fans after the final whistle.
Mourinho said after the match, “Yes we had an argument. I want him to do a certain movement that he didn’t do. I was disappointed that he didn’t and I reacted. He did too. But at half-time in the dressing room, a few kisses and a few cuddles. No problem”,
Mourinho was delighted with his team’s win, even if Porto’s surprise home loss to Dynamo Kiev means that qualification for the next round will go down to the final group game, when the defending Premier League champions will host the Portuguese manager’s old club. He said, “This was an important win. But with this group, I need a calculator because I don’t know what will happen. I know if we win we finish first. I know if we lose we go into the Europa League. With a draw, I don’t know. “I prefer to think we have to win our final match and that’s it”.
The victory was a much needed one for a manager who has found himself under immense pressure after the London club endured their worst start to a league campaign since 1978-1979. The win followed a 1-0 victory over Norwich in the Premier League last weekend and sets Chelsea up perfectly for their London derby match against Tottenham Hotspur this Saturday.