The Premier League season is two matches in, but the problems are already piling up for misfiring champions Chelsea after a 3-0 thrashing at Manchester City on 16 August. Goals by Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho were the least City deserved for a dominant display against a side who took 70 minutes to register a shot on target.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was on the offensive, though, saying Chelsea's defeat by City had been undeserved.
"In the first half, the best team was winning and in the second half the best team was Chelsea. We didn't score. If the 1-0 result after our second half, would be in my opinion an unfair result, imagine a 2-0 or imagine a 3-0," Mourinho told reporters after the match.
"They were the best team in the first half and they controlled the game, they created chances. We were very comfortable with the ball but defensively we were quite fragile."
Chelsea regrouped well in the second half, but were still second best to City, who looked sharp across the pitch. However, Mourinho said the second goal, scored by Kompany with 10 minutes remaining, was out of context with the rest of the second half.
"The second change (by Manchester City) was a defensive one. (Raheem) Sterling out, (Martin) Demichelis in. And I think everybody in this moment knows that the 1-0 is the result that they want to keep, and it is a result they are in trouble to keep. So, the second goal is completely out of the context. But, it is our mistake. So, we were punished by our mistakes in the second and the third goal, and we couldn't capitalise on the good second half we did," said an adamant Mourinho.
The sense of unease in the Chelsea camp was increased when skipper John Terry was substituted at halftime – the first time he had ever been hauled off by Mourinho. Mourinho later confirmed that Terry had been replaced by pacey central defender Kurt Zouma for tactical reasons.
"I have to decide on John or (Gary) Cahill. Because (Kurt) Zouma is the fastest player we have in our defensive line. Fastest out of anyone – (Branislav) Ivanovic, John, Cahill, (Cesar) Azpilicueta – he is the fastest of anyone. So, when you are going to play with a high block and you are asking your players to do that, to bring the defensive line up, the fastest player has to be on the pitch," said Mourinho.
Mourinho said Terry still remained very much part of his plans at Chelsea, and that the skipper had taken his decision professionally. "Well, I can tell you that he (Terry) was not dancing in the dressing room," said Mourinho.
"And I can tell you also that he was not having a bad reaction. He did what everybody does; the manager says, this guy comes in and that guy goes out, and they all do the same. They all wait for the team to go out, they change, they shower, and they go back to the bench like he did. Normal."