Defensive Chelsea tough to catch, admits Manchester United boss Mourinh
Jose Mourinho says it will be tough for Manchester United to make up the ground to Chelsea in the Premier League due to the leaders’ defensive approach to matches.
Antonio Conte’s side are six points clear at the top of the table after 17 matches, and 13 ahead of United, having won all of their last 11 games.
Four of their last six wins have come courtesy of a 1-0 scoreline, while they have kept nine clean sheets since their 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in September.
And Mourinho believes Chelsea’s proclivity to defend leads means they are unlikely to drop too many points between now and May.
“You have to be honest and say that is very difficult,” he told Sky Sports when asked if United could still win the title. “It’s not just the difference in points, it’s also the Chelsea philosophy of playing.
“They score one goal and they win. They defend a lot. They defend well. They are winning and, in the last 20 minutes, they bring defenders in.
“They don’t care what people say, what people think. They just want to win. And, because of that, I don’t see them losing many points.”
Mourinho’s side have come through a difficult spell by claiming four straight wins in all competitions, while a 2-1 reverse to Fenerbahce in the Europa League is their only defeat since a 4-0 humbling by Chelsea in October.
With United showing signs of a more attacking approach under Mourinho and with four trophies still up for grabs, Mourinho is confident that 2017 will be positive for fans at Old Trafford.
He added: “2017 will be better than 2016. I think we are really together. There is a sense of unity between us and the fans. I’m loving a lot that feeling.”