Crisis for Mourinho after Chelsea’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool
LONDON (AP) Juergen Klopp’s first statement win with Liverpool left Jose Mourinho facing more questions about his future at Chelsea.
Chelsea’s crisis escalated further as the team failed to hold on to an early lead and lost 3-1 at home in the Premier League on Saturday, the defending champion’s sixth defeat in 11 league games. The already beleaguered Mourinho now faces an uncertain future, just five months after delivering a third Premier League title.
”I am not worried (about my future). The players they tried. You could feel the attitude, the desire,” Mourinho said in the post-game news conference.
Mourinho had initially refused to answer questions in a TV interview, simply saying ”I have nothing to say.” Having already been fined this season for criticizing the referees, he also refused to comment on Liverpool midfielder Lucas not being giving a second yellow card for a tackle in the second half.
It was Klopp’s first league victory since his arrival after two successive draws against Tottenham and Southampton.
However, his side had to come from behind after Ramires headed the hosts into a fourth-minute lead. The midfielder justified his selection ahead of mainstays Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas, ghosting into the box to direct Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross into the net beyond the outstretched Simon Mignolet.
Chelsea looked set to maintain that advantage at the interval after a first half void of any meaningful attempts at goal.
But Philippe Coutinho curled in a stoppage-time equalizer to level just before the break. The Brazilian feigned a shot with his right foot before switching to his supposedly weaker left and curling in from the edge of the area. That was his first goal since another spectacular effort on the opening day of the season in a 1-0 victory over Stoke City.
Liverpool carried that momentum into the second but it was the home side that almost regained the lead. Midfielder Oscar robbed Lucas inside the center circle and spotted Mignolet off his line, sending a shot toward goal which the retreating Belgian managed to tip wide.
The visitors took the lead shortly afterward with Coutinho putting them ahead with his second in the 74th. Substitute Christian Benteke knocked a forward ball into the Brazilian’s path and he again beat Begovic from the edge of the box on his left side.
Klopp’s side continued to surge forward and Benteke scored the third after a neat exchange with Adam Lallana, shooting across goal and into the far corner.
”We didn’t have the best start. We made a goal and deserved the draw at halftime,” Klopp said. ”The second half was open and we made our goals at perfect moments for us. I feel it’s deserved. We have worked hard but it’s normal if you want to win in Chelsea.”
That win lifts Liverpool to seventh in the table with 17 points, three adrift of a Champions League berth and five off joint leaders Manchester City and Arsenal.
Chelsea remains in the bottom half in 15th place with 11 points.