Jose Mourinho has hit back at Yaya Toure’s accusation that the Chelsea boss showed a lack of respect to other English teams by talking openly about their chances in the Champions League in the last week.
Toure, who was part of the Manchester City side that lost in Barcelona the day after Arsenal’s Champions League exit to Bayern Munich, was unhappy with Mourinho’s comments, but speaking ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Aston Villa, he insisted his words were only made out of support.
“If to say before the Munich and Camp Nou matches that these matches are not over, that Arsenal and City have enough quality to go there and turn things around, if to support the teams from the country where I work, if this is a lack of respect, okay that’s a lack of respect,” said Mourinho.
“But I think that Arsenal and Manchester City showed that I was right, that they had enough quality to do it. They played very good matches, so I don’t think this is a lack of respect, this is support.
“In the same way, I say Manchester City have three matches in hand in the Premier League and they are capable of winning all three matches and going top of the league. If that is lack of respect, he has a strange concept of lack of respect.
“I tried on both occasions to be respectful of the two English teams and I want to say the same about Manchester United. I think they are a better team than Olympiakos and I think United can do it. I hope they do it.”
Victory in the Saturday Night Football clash would see Chelsea go 10 points clear of Arsenal and Liverpool, who both play on Sunday, but Mourinho repeated his mantra that the table is not accurate.
“You look at the table and if you have just the number of points, the table is fake, because before the number of points is the number of matches,” he added.
“We could have 30 points more than them and 10 matches more. It means nothing.
“When everybody has the same number of matches – I don’t know when this is going to happen, maybe in the last week of competition – is when the table is real.”