Jose Mourinho has fired a fresh shot at Arsene Wenger, by claiming he is at a loss as to explain Arsenal’s lack of Premier League success in recent years.
Wenger and Mourinho have one of the bitterest relationships in the history of the Premier League, yet the latter has by far the better of their head-to-head record with just one defeat against his rival in 15 meetings, and that was in the FA Community Shield earlier this season. Their latest match-up came on Saturday, when the Blues ran out 2-0 win against a nine-man Gunners.
Since arriving in English football back in the summer of 2004, Mourinho, who is now in his second spell at Stamford Bridge, has won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups. During the same period, Wenger has won the FA Cup on three occasions, yet his side haven’t really come close to winning a 14th league title despite regularly finishing in the top-four.
Asked about his perception of Wenger, Mourinho claimed to be surprised by Arsenal’s lack of title success: “I think Arsenal has the squad to be champions. And every season I feel that. I don’t know [why they are not]. But that’s my feeling. I like every player. I tell you if one of their players is a free agent and they don’t want him there, I get everyone. I like all of their players.”
Saturday’s affair at Stamford Bridge, which followed a handshake between the two rival managers, was a typically stormy one. Gabriel Paulista was dismissed after clashing with Diego Costa, who was lucky to avoid a red card for shoving Laurent Koscielny in the face. Kurt Zouma, who was preferred to John Terry in the starting line-up, headed the home side ahead on 53 minutes.
Santi Cazorla was shown a second yellow card on 78 minutes following a foul on Cesc Fabregas, and this reduced the visitors to nine men. From there it was always going to be near-impossible to get close to Chelsea, who doubled their lead and secured just their second win of the season when an Eden Hazard shot was deflected past former team-mate Petr Cech.