Football

Mourinho: 'I'm the No. 1. Judas is No. 1'

Mourinho hits back at Blues supporters after 'Judas' chants

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho told Chelsea supporters "Judas is No. 1" after Antonio Conte guided the Blues into the FA Cup semi-finals yesterday morning (Singapore time).

N'Golo Kante's strike settled a bad-tempered contest 1-0 to set up an FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham.

Ander Herrera was sent off for two bookable offences and United players surrounded referee Michael Oliver, while Marcos Rojo escaped a red card for a spiteful second-half stamp on Eden Hazard.

The Football Association may review those incidents and retrospective action could follow.

Mourinho, Chelsea's most successful manager, pointed to himself, then the pitch and signalled with three fingers - for the number of Premier League titles he won in two spells - after being subjected to abuse from a section of fans behind the visiting dugout.

One section of supporters chanted "F*** off Mourinho", "It's all your fault" - a reference to Chelsea's implosion last season - "You're not special any more" and "Judas".

"They can call me what they want," said Mourinho.

"Until the moment they have a manager that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I'm the No. 1. Judas is No. 1."

Conte, meanwhile, was furious with United's no-holds-barred approach.

A video of Rojo's stamp on Hazard erupted on social media, as did images of Conte embroiled in a touchline row with Mourinho that ended with the rivals being separated by the fourth official Mike Jones.

Asked what he made of United's tactics, the Italian said: "My players want to play football but, for 25 minutes, it was impossible.

"I think only that Eden got a lot of kicks. I don't think I'm crazy. He started the match receiving kicks and he finished it receiving kicks.

"It's not football for me. It could be United's tactic.

"Sometimes when you play against players with great talent, you try to intimidate them.

"The referee must try to protect these type of players because they can go out with a bad injury."

Kante's sublime performance yesterday morning left his French international teammate and the world's most expensive footballer, United's Paul Pogba, chasing shadows and at the receiving end of more criticism.

"I'd go as far to say that he's (Kante) the best central midfield player in the world on current form," former Chelsea star Frank Lampard told the BBC.

"Looking at the way he's performing this year, he may not be scoring lots of goals but, what he's giving to the team in the way he's playing, the driving force that he is, I cannot see anyone else out there in world football better than him at the moment."

Perhaps the only person to disagree with the assessment of the performances of the two players was Mourinho.

"The players were phenomenal, but I would refer to one because he's the one that the specialists enjoy to go after," Mourinho told MUTV.

"Probably because in that time they were not getting 10 per cent of the money he was getting.

"It probably comes from envy, but I have to say, that for me, Paul Pogba was by far the best player on the pitch. He was a giant." - WIRE SERVICES

Manchester UnitedJose MourinhoFA Cup