Their defeat was fake. Eva Caneiro bought for doctorate online. All of these things are true. Do you know why? Because the master of mind-games, Jose Mourinho, said them.
In between eye-gouging opponents and being genuinely one of the most skilled managers of modern times, Chelsea's manager finds the time to spout an awful lot of deflective nonsense.
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When his teams win - the Inter treble, Real's record points total and his many trophies at Stamford Bridge - it is his teams, their football and often himself that are the centre of attention.
Rightly so. However, when things go wrong, the blame lies virtually anywhere else. From crowds and pitches to referees and medics, it is elsewhere where we should find the blame. Except it isn't. At all.
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When Chelsea won at the Etihad in 2013/14 it was rightly hailed as a tactical master class. This time around, when Pellegrini was the one winning the battle, no such praise was sent in his direction thanks to another Mourinho master class in mind-games.
After a game in which Kompany commanded, Silva sparkled and Aguero enchanted, Mourinho tried to make the fall-out all about him and on his terms. In the interest of balance, this piece will focus on Mourinho... and the poor, poor job he did as a football manager in his team's first big test of the domestic season.
The big flaw in his game plan was operating with a higher defensive line from kick-off, which woefully exposed the slowness of most of his defence. Time and again, Sterling, Silva or Aguero would begin runs from the halfway line into space while the Chelsea back-line stumbled back towards their own gaol bereft of structure.
The much-discussed Terry substitute to bring on Zouma was at least a recognition of his flaw, but it did little to solve it. It that's what it was even about. That Mourinho. Who knows what he's up to?
Their offence was not sparkling either. Hazard, while impressive, was the sole creative outlet in an attacking quartet at its most basic: Willian ran around, Costa sulked and Fabregas did not create enough to justify the massive holes he left behind him for City's attack.
Even when they improved in the second-half - remember, the one they were brilliant in - they lacked pace and incisiveness and managed just two shots on target all game. Chelsea looked lazier and more passive...and that really is saying something.
This is the truth. They weren't laughably awful, but they were decidedly second best. It wasn't false, it wasn't robbery and it wasn't a clever ploy to encourage Abramovich to spend big in the transfer market.
Few managers have so-effectively manage to saturate criticism of their skills with a sea of splurge that focuses on the dramas and the comments rather than the football.
As fun as it is to occasionally indulge, it is ridiculous to elevate everything Mourinho does into some variation of a Machiavellian scheme. Sometimes, he just doesn't manage his team very well.
This was one such example. When he is great, he is great. When he is bad, he should be seen as bad. On Sunday, that's what he was: not scheming, not above it all...just plain bad.
Chelsea fans, should more blame be focused on Mourinho? Have your say below!
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