Jose Mourinho has said the changes he made for his Chelsea side in their Champions League trip to Porto were "normal", despite them leading to the Blues losing their fifth game of the campaign. Andre Andre and Maicon scored in either half, sandwiching Willian's stunning free-kick on the stroke of half-time.
The result leaves Mourinho's side third in Group G after two games and increases the scrutiny on the team selected to start in Portugal. Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic and captain John Terry were all left on the bench, while Oscar, Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao – returning to the Estadio do Dragao – were omitted from the squad entirely.
Mourinho warned his senior players following the 2-2 draw with Newcastle United that none of them were indispensable but the result against Porto, if not the performance, calls into question the judgement of the Chelsea manager. He explained following the 2-1 defeat that having lost a fifth game of the campaign, more than the team suffered in total last season, it was normal to make such decisions.
"When the team is not winning on a regular basis it's normal you have to make changes," the Chelsea boss told a post-match press conference, according to the club's official website. "Games like tonight are the difficult ones to analyse and make decisions after because the result doesn't mean you played badly, the mistakes we made twice doesn't mean the team defended badly.
"When it's a disaster it's easier to make decisions. We have to find balance. We now have two home games in the Premier League and we need to try to get good results. Good feelings, happiness, self-esteem, the players need those to play and when luck goes against you it's difficult to have those feelings."
Already eight points off the pace in the Premier League title race and having already suffered a defeat in the Champions League, the new campaign has been anything but kind to Chelsea. They face successive home league matches in the form of Southampton and Aston Villa in the coming weeks as they look to reassert themselves domestically, before the return of the Champions League when they travel to Dynamo Kiev.