Jose Mourinho said after Chelsea’s 0-0 Champions League draw with Atletico Madrid that each one of his players gave their all in the match.
The result leaves the semi-final in the balance prior to the second-leg next week at Stamford Bridge but the Blues were criticised for taking a defensive approach at Vicente Calderon.
Marca reports Mourinho as saying at his post-match Press conference that he is pleased with the result and the performance.
“In principle anyone starting a game wants it to finish 0-0 but the game goes one way,” Mourinho said.
“You have to know what is best. We had corners, free-kicks and throw-ins in dangerous situations which could have created a goal but didn’t.
“Everything will be decided at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s the first time Atletico have played the first game trying to win.
“Against Milan in San Siro, against Barcelona in Barcelona, today was the first time they played as the home team first.
“They’re a very strong team with difficult set-pieces. It’s hard to stop them.”
It was put to Mourinho that Gary Cahill was particularly impressive in the Chelsea defence. The Portuguese commended Cahill but insisted his teammates were at an equally high level.
“It’s hard for me to talk only of Gary. They have all done a fantastic job,” Mourinho continued.
“I believe every player gave everything. I’m very happy.”
Mourinho was asked about the perceived hypocrisy of Chelsea parking the bus in the same manner for which he has criticised Chelsea’s opposition, with the son of one of the owners of West Ham remarking on Twitter about the irony after Mourinho chastised the Hammers.
“The Chelsea Coach cannot comment on the review of the son of the owner of West Ham,” was all Mourinho had to say on the issue.
Chelsea will be without Petr Cech and John Terry for the return bout after the pair were injured, while Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel will be missing through suspension.
The absences mean that Mourinho has suggested he will have to play a weakened team against Liverpool on Sunday, to protect his players for Wednesday’s second-leg.
“My priority is the Champions League. I can’t decide for myself, I have to hear what the club thinks. I’m just a part of the club,” Mourinho said.
“We’ve got a game on Sunday. The problem isn’t of my creation. It’s from those who decided we don’t play on Friday.
“I know what I would do. I would play [against Liverpool] with the players who won’t play on Wednesday.
“I’m just the Coach. There are people above me and I work for them. I must follow the orders of the club.”