3rd February, 2014
Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, said his team will play to win at the Etihad Stadium tonight, and not simply to stifle Manchester City on their own turf.
Chelsea beat City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in October when goalkeeper Joe Hart allowed Fernando Torres to score a last-gasp winner, and have also beaten Manchester United and Liverpool at home.
On the road, Mourinho’s team have adopted a conservative approach, with goalless draws at Manchester United and Arsenal, and a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.
Manchester City have scored 42 goals in winning their 11 home games this season, and the Chelsea manager says a defensive approach will not be enough to halt Manuel Pellegrini’s team.
“City score goals,” Mourinho said. “Normally, when your approach is very defensive, if you concede a goal you are in trouble. Or if you have to make changes during the game you never know how the players adapt to it. It’s not because of one game against certain opponents that we are going to change our philosophy. We are going to try to win, knowing perfectly we can lose or draw. Our intention is to try to win.”
He added: “Our objective is to finish in a Champions League spot. That’s the competitive objective. The greater objective is the improvement of the team and preparing the team for the future.”
In all competitions this season, of the visitors to the Etihad Stadium only European champions Bayern Munich have not been beaten, but Pellegrini has said he does not expect his side to dwell on their record.
“For us it is very important to think that it’s a new game and we don’t know if we are going to score a goal, and we are not just thinking of scoring goals,” he said. “In football, all that has happened in the past is not important.
“Maybe one team can be feared, another team cannot be feared. One can come here just to defend; another team will think it is better to attack.