Jose Mourinho claims Chelsea’s Premier League title challenge is over after his side’s shock 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.
Mourinho’s men shot themselves in the foot as a second-half own goal from captain John Terry condemned the Blues to their fifth league defeat of the season.
The Chelsea manager has spent most of the campaign insisting his players are too inexperienced to be regarded as serious title contenders and, in what looked an attempt to take the pressure off his squad, he was quick to write off their title hopes after the setback in south London.
“Now we have lost our chance of finishing first. Now we depend too much on other results,” said Mourinho, whose side will surrender first place to Manchester City if Manuel Pellegrini’s team win at Arsenal in Saturday’s late fixture.
City will still have two games in hand on Chelsea after this weekend and Mourinho admitted the Blues had only themselves to blame for their predicament following a lacklustre display against relegation-threatened Palace.
“Crystal Palace deserved the victory, they fought for their lives,” he said.
“We had good chances and their goalkeeper made some good saves in the first half. But their spirit was stronger, their desire was stronger and their commitment was stronger.
“That disappoints me, but it’s a defeat that we can only blame ourselves for.
“Some of our players are not comfortable in these types of matches, like Stoke away, Newcastle away and Everton away.
“Can I change this? I don’t know. My defenders are phenomenal, but in other positions we have players that can be in trouble.”