Jose Mourinho said that Chelsea didn’t deserve to win the FA Cup and played too defensively after they defeated his Manchester United side 1-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
A first-half penalty from Eden Hazard was the difference at Wembley, a result that saw United end the season without a trophy after finishing second in the Premier League.
The result also means Antonio Conte became the first manager to defeat Mourinho in an English domestic cup final.
“I congratulate them but I don’t think they deserved to win,” Mourinho said after the game.
“I congratulated them. I am Manchester United manager and I have to be respectful, not just because they are my previous club but because they are the opponents today and I think we deserved to win. I think we were the best team, but that is football.”
The Portuguese then praised his players for their efforts.
“My opinion on the performance is that every defeat hurts but for me personally the ones that hurt less is when you give everything and you go without any regrets,” said Mourinho.
“So I prefer to lose like today than to lose like we did, for example at Newcastle. I leave my players happy with them, very happy with them. For me that’s really important.”
Top-scorer Romelu Lukaku came on a late substitute to try and rescue the game after missing the last few weeks with an ankle injury, and Mourinho revealed that he had not started with the Belgian hitman because the player has told him pre-match that he was not fit enough to start.
“It was not my decision, it was his decision [not to start],” said Mourinho. “When a player tells you he isn’t ready to play, when he tells you that he is not ready to start the game, the question is ‘how many minutes do you think you can?’.”
“It was a bit hard for us to play without Lukaku against a team that defends with nine players. You need that presence.
“Chelsea are not stupid. They know our team without Lukaku or Marouane Fellaini does not have a presence so putting eight or nine players in front of the box they knew they would be dominant in that direct football.
“Every defeat hurts but I go home with the feeling we gave everything. No regrets.”
Mourinho added that he was happy with his defence, despite Phil Jones giving away the crucial penalty when he brought down Hazard in the 22nd minute.
“Our team did a fantastic defensive job without defending,” said Mourinho. “We controlled the positions really well, we controlled the transitions really well.
“They only played long balls to (Olivier) Giroud to flick and then Hazard to get second balls in individual actions. So when you play against a team so predictable it is quite easy to adapt to it.
“I thought we wouldn’t concede any goal in this match, but of course Hazard is a very good player and he created the penalty.”
Fans on Twitter found Mourinho’s comments just a touch ironic.
Mourinho crying about a team parking the bus. Lovely stuff. Chin up son.
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) May 19, 2018
Mourinho saying Chelsea parked the bus. I love this game
— El Che (@SegunEmdin) May 19, 2018
Jose "I have to be respectful, but I think that we deserve to win & we play the best football."
Then I’m sorry Mourinho but that’s really concerning if you believe that. #Mufc
— Totally Man Utd™ (@TotallyMUFC) May 19, 2018
And "disjointed" is the one thing you don't expect a Mourinho team to be — particularly after two years. Still not clear what this Manchester United team is supposed to look like. It's very underwhelming after all the money they've spent
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) May 19, 2018
Conte out Mourinho'd Mourinho and José had no answer to it. Awful match, dreadful tactics all round
— United Rant (@unitedrant) May 19, 2018
Do you agree with the Mourinho or the fans?