Jose Mourinho has proved again that when it comes to tactics and mind games in football, there is no one better than him. His Chelsea team had come out flying in their recent Premier League match against a weakened Manchester United side that was sorely missing its top two players — Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. Mourinho’s assertion, in the lead-up to the match, that United was the stronger team and could still contend for the title was laughed off by many, but in retrospect, he was perhaps muddling with United’s preparations for the match.
His remarkable post-match volte-face that United’s title hopes are finished for the season must have felt like a knockout blow to the Red Devils’ fans as the loss drifted them further apart from Arsenal who currently top the League table. David Moyes‘ side set the tempo initially, but once Chelsea absorbed the pressure firmly and took control of the game, United did not have a chance.
Mourinho’s penchant for playing down his team’s strengths and peppering the opposition with compliments is well known, and the Portuguese manager is at his best again in his second stint in England. His team is locked in a tight race for the title with Arsenal and Manchester City, and while he does not view Arsene Wenger‘s team in the same breadth as Manuel Pellegrini‘s, he succeeded in blocking Demba Ba‘s loan move to Arsenal in the last minute after they had acquired Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.
Mourinho has already declared that the title is City’s to lose, and many view him as the man who can stop Pellegrini’s team’s momentum. Chelsea travel to City at the beginning of February in what is undoubtedly a highly anticipated match, and Mourinho could start buttering up City much before he begins his preparations for the crucial encounter.