Despite claiming on Friday that he had been briefed by an unknown source that his former club Chelsea would field a back three when they mee, Jose Mourinho still succumbed to a 2-1 loss to his former apprentice, Frank Lampard.
“Tomorrow the same. I was told the same,” he said when he was asked if he believes Lampard will go three at the back.
When pressed further if his disclosing Chelsea tactics won’t force Lampard to change his formation, Mourinho said: “Will he go with the team as is? Of course. Of course.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho did not sound too sure when he was asked again on Saturday, he simply said he had only guessed.
Whatever the formation was, Lampard’s Chelsea were ready for their London neighbor.
It was Olivier Giroud who broke the deadlock in the 15th minute, followed by a second half goal by Marcos Alonso in the 49th minute.
However, a late Antonio Rudiger own goal gave Spurs a fake hope, as the match ended 2-1 in favor of Chelsea.
Surprisingly, VAR had ruled against Giovani Lo Celso stamp on Cesar Azpilicueta in the 52nd minute, which referee Michael Oliver, also agreed to.
Mourinho failed to start Dele Alli in Stanford Bridge despite not having any attacking option, with Harry Kane and Heung-min Son recuperating from injuries. Dele was however brought on in the 78th minutes to boost Spurs chances of settling the score, which was too late.
It was Lampard who took it all against his former boss, as the race for the top four continues.
An highpoint of the meeting was when a visibly angry, disappointed and embarrassed Jose Mourinho refused to shake hands with his counterpart. The Chelsea boss had stretched out his hands for a handshake, instead Mourinho ignored him and walked straight down the tunnel.
Mourinho was left counting his loss during his post match interview as he said: “It was difficult for my players to do better than what they did.”
“With what we have at the moment and the power we don’t have, it’s very difficult to do better.
“We have three long months to go, in three competitions, so it’s going to be three long months for us. Look at Chelsea, they played a World Cup winning striker up front, England’s second striker on the bench, and Belgium’s second striker in the stands. We had no strikers on the pitch, no strikers on the bench and two in the hospital,” he added.
An excited Lampard who is now first manager to defeat a side managed by José Mourinho both home and away in a single league season, was full of praise for his team, saying: “You always look clever when your decisions come off and you’re called an idiot when they don’t.”
“I’m delighted for them both because it’s not easy for these lads when they are not playing regularly.
“What you get with Oli is quality, you know his attributes. And a game where I expected Tottenham to be deep, which they were in the first half, you know you can find him and he can bring people into the game and then you know he can finish, and Marcos’s finish was top-drawer as well.”
Meanwhile when asked whether he thought Mourinho could have got some inside information, he said: “That’s the world we live in. When someone has worked at the club before, then I think that can happen. We had been working on a back three for two or three days and I’m not always that trusting in everybody. That’s life.”
Frank Lampard has now won all three of his managerial meetings against Jose Mourinho, with a 2-0 win over Tottenham on 22 December, 2019, a 2-1 win over Tottenham in February 22 and also knocking out Mourinho’s Manchester United from last season’s Carabao Cup as Manager of Derby County, following a dramatic 8-7 penalty shootout after the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
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