Friday, July 30, 2010

DES KELLY: Inter Milan trainer Jose Mourinho is happiest in the purpose of panto villain...

Jose Mourinho and Chelsea have very few surprises in store for one another this week, but the Inter Milan manager still served up a timely reminder of just how difficult he can be.

Wherever he is in charge, whatever the odds, Mourinho always moulds a team who are notoriously tough to overcome.

Two red cards reduced Inter Milan to nine men for nearly an hour of a petulant encounter with Sampdoria. With a familiar theatrical flourish, Mourinho was so incensed he gestured to the crowd that the decisions of the referee had slapped him in handcuffs.

Forever connected: Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho comes face-to-face with former club Chelsea this week

Forever connected: Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho comes face-to-face with former club Chelsea this week

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But it was depleted Inter that put the game under lock and key as a lesson in bloody-minded obstinacy and tactical awareness, which earned them a goalless draw and edged Mourinho closer to his second successive Serie A crown.

;How do I feel? I feel proud, said Mourinho later. ;This was good for morale and good for team spirit. Its eight years now without a defeat at home in domestic competitions, championships and cups.

"To celebrate the anniversary with this match, in these circumstances, and for our team spirit to survive the way it did is great.

The result preserved Mourinhos impressive record of never having lost a home game since 2002, a sequence that stretches back through his time with Porto, Chelsea and now Internazionale.

Those impressive statistics are a measure of the task facing Carlo Ancelotti and Chelsea in the San Siro on Wednesday night.

;To lose here in the Italian game, we would need to be left with six players on the field, said Mourinho, not even bothering to conceal his scorn for his Serie A rivals.

;I said the same thing when we beat AC Milan with nine men and Imsaying it again now. But we wont beat Chelsea with nine players.

Mourinho does, however, perceive a resolve and sense of purpose atInter that could give him the edge over the Premier League leaders.


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