Jose Mourinho complained about Paris St Germain’s aggression before Wednesday night’s Champions League last-16 second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho was frustrated at PSG’s persistent fouling in the first leg three weeks ago, which was drawn 1-1, and on the eve of the return described Laurent Blanc’s side as “the most aggressive” team Chelsea have played this season.
PSG were on top for much of the first leg at Parc des Princes, but Chelsea emerged level with their only chance of note – Branislav Ivanovic’s crucial away goal.
Mourinho bristled when asked about PSG’s dominance.
He said: “What is dominate? If dominate is the number of chances, yes, Paris had more chances than us.
“If dominate is to stop the opponent to play, making foul after foul, yes they also dominate.
“If dominate is to have the ball and to move the ball without progression, yes, they also dominate.
“I think they dominate in everything except in the result.”
Mourinho believes the expensively-assembled French side fouled more than League Two Shrewsbury, League One Bradford and all the other sides Chelsea have played this term.
“With players of such quality I was expecting more football and less aggression,” he said.
“I thought an English team would never be surprised by aggression. In that game I was surprised, because a team with fantastic players was a team with the record of fouls, was the team that was making foul after foul, was the team that stopped (Eden) Hazard with fouls all the time.”
While Mourinho was calling PSG’s aggression into question, his counterpart Laurent Blanc suggested Chelsea striker Diego Costa “provokes” the opposition.
”He (Costa) likes contact, and provokes opposition players. That’s part of his game,“ Blanc said.
”He really needs that to bring out the best in his performances. The most important thing is to not get caught up in the way he plays.
”He will try to provoke a reaction. We need to stay calm, not get caught up in his game. We need to be as effective as possible in stopping him.“
Mourinho refused to comment on Blanc’s appraisal of Costa, adding: “I don’t want to comment on his words. His words are his words.”
Chelsea have Nemanja Matic available again following a two-match ban and an ankle injury sustained while celebrating the Capital One Cup triumph.
Mourinho said he joked with Matic that he would not go straight back into the team after missing the wins over Tottenham at Wembley and West Ham in the league, but confirmed that he would play a part against PSG.
The Parisians, who were eliminated on away goals at Stamford Bridge last term when they let a 3-1 first-leg advantage slip, must score to advance to the quarter-finals for a third straight season.
One notable difference this season over last is that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is available to Blanc.
The Sweden striker was injured last term, but will come up against Chelsea captain John Terry and either Gary Cahill or Kurt Zouma.
”I don’t think those two players (Cahill and Zouma) are going to be happy about facing Zlatan,” Blanc said.
”He’s someone who loves the big occasion. He’s a player who can score at any time, in any venue, against any opponent. I hope he shows that tomorrow night.”