Jose Mourinho’s second trip back to Stamford Bridge since being sacked in December 2015 ended in another painful loss following Manchester United’s earlier 4-0 loss to Chelsea in October, going down 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final against his former club.
But the bigger story to come from the game was the reaction of Mourinho to the fans who once idolized him, with “The Special One” clearly shocked by the chants emanating from small section of home fans who sang “Judas”, “You’re not special anymore” and “It’s all your fault” to the previously well-respected manager. Clearly Chelsea has moved on and new Antonio Conte was hero of Stamford Bridge now.
No doubt the fact that Conte and Mourinho engaged in a tense sideline battle throughout Monday night’s loss didn’t set will with the home crowd. The fourth official, Mike Jones, was twice forced to keep them apart on the touchline as emotions ran high – particularly after referee Mike Oliver sent off United’s Ander Herrera for two bookable offences.
Mourinho’s reply to his former fans was to hold three fingers aloft, a reference to the three Premier League titles he won for Chelsea. In the press conference, a clearly defiant Mourinho said, “Until the moment [Chelsea] have a manager that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I’m the No 1. When they have somebody who wins four Premier Leagues for them, I’ll be No 2. For this moment, ‘Judas’ is No 1.”
As the most successful manager in Chelsea history, Mourinho has good reason to feel upset. But until his Manchester United can find a way to beat the Blues, there is nothing the Portuguese can do but wait to take revenge. In a month’s time Chelsea visit Old Trafford in the Premier League – and no doubt Mourinho is salivating at the opportunity to turn the tables.