Jose Mourinho's future as Chelsea manager looked increasingly uncertain after Liverpool beat them 3-1 in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with Philippe Coutinho scoring twice.
Jose Mourinho’s future as Chelsea manager looked increasingly uncertain after Liverpool beat them 3-1 in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with Philippe Coutinho scoring twice.
Champions Chelsea’s third home league defeat of the season left them in 15th place in the table with 11 points from 11 games — the worst ever start to a season by reigning champions.
Liverpool’s fans, celebrating a first league win for new manager Juergen Klopp, taunted Mourinho, chanting: “You’re getting sacked in the morning”, while home fans looked stunned as they filed away into the streets of west London.
Former Chelsea midfielder Pat Nevin, summarising on BBC Radio Five Live, summed up the mood: “The questions over Mourinho will be a cacophony now.
“It’s not just the defeat but the manner of it. They were absolutely outplayed,” he said.
Yet the day had started well for Chelsea.
There were only four minutes on the clock when Cesar Azpilicueta was given too much time and his cross picked out Ramires who headed powerfully into Liverpool’s net.
If the home fans expected that boost to fuel their side with new-found confidence though, they were to be disappointed as a hard-working Liverpool side recovered to dominate possession.
Coutinho cleverly worked himself some space two minutes and 40 seconds into first-half stoppage time and curled a precise shot past Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic.
Liverpool midfielder Lucas was lucky to avoid a second yellow card midway through the second half for a foul on Ramires — a decision that infuriated Mourinho.
To rub salt into the wound, Liverpool went in front a few minutes later when Christian Benteke’s knock down fell to Coutinho who again beat Begovic with a shot that brushed off John Terry, captaining Chelsea for the 550th time.
With Liverpool in complete control Benteke made the points safe with a low shot seven minutes from time.
Mourinho was clearly angry that decisions had gone against his side when interviewed by the BBC.
“In the second half something happened that didn’t allow us to win the game,” Mourinho said.
Asked if he could turn around Chelsea’s unravelling season, he said simply: “If they allow us.”
Klopp was sympathetic, telling a news conference: “I feel for him. He’s a great coach. I don’t think anyone in this room doubts he’s one of the best in the world. Things like this happen. I had a similar situation at Dortmund last year.”
While Chelsea lurch from crisis to crisis — they have lost nine times in all competitions, including their midweek defeat on penalties by Stoke City in the League Cup which they won last season — Liverpool are buoyant.
They have 17 points and moved up to seventh.
Later on Saturday, leaders Manchester City host Norwich City, second-placed Arsenal are at Swansea City and third-placed Manchester United are away at Crystal Palace.