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May 4, 2014

Mourinho: Norwich didn't play to win

Jose Mourinho admitted that his side lacked focus after being eliminated from the Champions League.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was confused by relegation-threatened Norwich's defensive tactics as his side's fading title hopes were dealt a severe blow by a goalless draw with the Canaries at Stamford Bridge.

Jose Mourinho's side struggled to break down Norwich.
Jose Mourinho's side struggled to break down Norwich.

Neil Adams' side sat three points off safety before kick-off, knowing 17th-placed Sunderland would have a game in hand even after Sunday's match, but Mourinho felt they did not play like that was the case.

"We had one team that needed three points to survive and they didn't play to win,'' the Portuguese told Sky Sports 1.

He added: "They needed to win to try to have a chance to survive, and they didn't try. We needed one point to finish third and we risked everything. We wanted to finish winning at home.

"In the second half we deserved that, but we didn't score. Our strikers are good strikers, but are players with some specific qualities. They are not the kind of players who in five square metres, with three or four players around, who can get the ball, dribble on, see the space and shoot. So when the team is in a difficult situation they are not able to, normally, resolve the situation for us.''

The Blues boss was frustrated by his side's first-half display, but felt they deserved to win after improving in the second half.

"We tried everything but at the end of the day we knew we had no chance of being champions,'' he said. "We knew we needed a point to finish in the group stages of the Champions League [by securing third place]. That is no trophy for us, but it was important to finish third.''

Mourinho lamented referee Neil Swarbrick's decision not to award Eden Hazard a penalty when Ryan Bennett swiped wildly at the Belgium international.

He rushed to his office in the Stamford Bridge tunnel to confirm his initial suspicions that a spot-kick should have been awarded.

Mourinho said: "I saw [it] in the game, but to confirm I had a quick run to my office and I arrived in time to watch [the replay] and then go back to the dug-out laughing. [I laughed] because I can't cry.''

Hazard collected the Blues supporters' player of the year award on the pitch before kick-off but was only a substitute.

The midfielder, who has been continually linked with Paris Saint-Germain, was criticised by Mourinho in the wake of Chelsea's loss to Atletico Madrid.

But the Portuguese said that the Blues were improved after Hazard's introduction against Norwich.

"The team was much better in the second half,'' Mourinho added. "Was Eden playing in the second half? Yes. Had he responsibilities in the second half? Yes.''

Mourinho also insisted Chelsea are in no rush to clarify the futures of captain John Terry, record goalscorer Frank Lampard and left-back Ashley Cole.

The players undertook a lap of appreciation after the game, with tears flowing in what could be the trio's farewell, with their current contracts expiring after next week's match at Cardiff.

"They are with the club on their future,'' added Mourinho, who says he wants all three to stay. "Now it's time to wait a little bit. The summer is a long summer for us.

"For the players involved in the World Cup it's a different story, but for us, as a club, it's a long time to be calm and to sit and to discuss and to analyse options and the market and possibilities.''

Norwich's relegation could be completed on Wednesday following the clash at Chelsea.

A draw between Sunderland and West Brom would all but seal the Canaries' fate due to their vastly inferior goal difference.

Norwich boss Neil Adams said: "Now we keep our fingers crossed and hope for a few results. If we go into the last game of the season, Arsenal at Carrow Road, needing to win the game, that's all we can hope for.

"We didn't want to lose the game. If we'd lost, we were down. We had a stonewall penalty denied for us in the first half. It's pretty clear. Had we got that we might have been leaving Stamford Bridge with three points instead of the one.''

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