Jose Mourinho has reflected on his team’s 2-2 draw away at Newcastle and said, “In the first half, from 0-10, we were minus one. It was that bad”.
The defending Premier League champions went to St. James’ Park on the back of a 2-0 win over Arsenal in the league, though they were without the services of Diego Costa after the controversial front man was banned by the Football Association for striking the face of the Gunners’ defender Laurent Koscielny.
Despite having their tails up and hoping they’d be able to get themselves back into the mix at the top of the table, it was Newcastle who started the better of the two teams. Chelsea couldn’t get into the game in the first half and it was not against the run of play when Ayoze Perez gave the Magpies the lead after 42 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse in the second half when Georgino Wijnaldum doubled Newcastle’s lead with a stooping header and it looked as though the Geordies were going to secure their first three points of the season. Mourinho said, “We were so poor, so bad. At half time I said I was sorry I only had three subs as I wanted to change six… In the second half we played very well”.
The Blues were the better team in the second half and two goals in eleven minutes from Ramires and Willian allowed last year’s runaway winners to get themselves back into the match and come away with a point. Mourinho said, “Ramires and Willian moved the game. They brought more intensity, were much more dynamic. Newcastle could not cope with it”.
The manager was unsure what caused his side’s lethargic display in the first half against a team that was knocked out of the League Cup during the week by Sheffield Wednesday. He said, “I have to try to understand why they can play so bad in one half and so well in the other. We were bad in every aspect of the game in the first half. Too many poor individual performances and it was impossible to be a competitive team”.
With Manchester City shocking everyone in the league by losing 4-1 away at White Hart Lane Jose Mourinho will be glad that his team have been able to catch up with the team who had been at the top of the table by four points in the last two weekends. The Blues will need to be hitting ten out of ten in the coming weeks if they wish to retain their Premier League crown, however.