London: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho angrily accused West Ham United of playing "football from the nineteenth century" after they secured a hard-fought 0-0 draw against his side. Chelsea dominated a one-sided game at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, but were unable to find a way through the obdurate defence of Sam Allarydce's West Ham.
See our point, sir! Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel (hand on chest), Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic (right) appeal to referee Neil Swarbrick during the English Premier League match against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in London. Pic/Getty Images
That meant they missed out on the chance to move second in the Premier League table, leaving them three points behind new leaders Manchester City, who they face next at the Etihad Stadium on
Monday. "It's very difficult to play a football match where only one team wants to play," said Mourinho. "Very difficult. A match is about two teams playing. This match was only one team playing, and another team not.
'Not the best league'
"I told Big Sam (Allardyce), and I repeat my words, that they need points. Because they need points, to come here and not play and do it the way they did, is it acceptable? Maybe yes. Maybe yes. I cannot be too critical because if I was in this position, I don't know if I would do the same. Maybe I would. So I don't want to criticise that. But at the same time, this is not Premier League. This is not the best league in the world. This is football from the nineteenth century. Too bad."
Asked what he meant by 'nineteenth-century football', Mourinho said: "Pretending injuries, cheating. I don't know if that's the right word. The goalkeeper taking his time not after the 70th minute, but in the first minute." Allardyce laughed off the criticism after a result that left his side two points from safety in the relegation zone.
"Jose can't take it, can he?" the West Ham manager said. "He can't take it because we've 'out-tacticked' him, outwitted him. He just can't cope. He can tell me all he wants. I don't care, to be honest. I love to see Chelsea players moaning at the referee, trying to intimidate him, Jose jumping up and down in his technical area. It's great to see."
Meanwhile, free-scoring Manchester City swept to the Premier League summit with a 5-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal's 2-2 draw at Southampton on Tuesday had given their two closest rivals a glimpse of top spot. City had crushed Tottenham 6-0 in the reverse fixture in November and they wasted little time asserting themselves again amid pouring rain at White Hart Lane.
Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock in the 15th minute before limping off due to an apparent hamstring injury on the stroke of half-time. City, however, extended their lead in the 51st minute when Yaya Toure tucked away a penalty after Danny Rose was sent off for sliding in on Edin Dzeko.
Dzeko made it 3-0 six minutes later, before Etienne Capoue reduced the arrears from a corner. It gave the hosts a flicker of hope, but Stevan Jovetic, Aguero's replacement, made the game safe in the 78th minute with his first Premier League goal before captain Vincent Kompany added a fifth at the death.