A brilliant tactical game plan from the Special One saw Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Monday and throw open the title race in England.
City were heavy favorites heading into the game and a win would see then move six points above Chelsea, but it was Chelsea who had the last laugh thanks to a 32nd-minute bullet by Branislav Ivanovic.
But while Mourinho set up with Matic and Luiz in front of the Chelsea back four, he gave Willian, Hazard, Ramires and Eto’o license to roam and time and time again their pace and movement created huge holes in the City defense.
The win gave Chelsea the double over City having beaten them 2-1 at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.
The score flatted City as Chelsea also hit the woodwork on three occasions, and the speed of Willian, Hazard and Ramires caused Man City problems all night as City’s gung-ho attacks left them exposed at the back time and time again.
In the 27th minute Joe Hart made a good save to deny Ramires after a good Chelsea counter, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side failed to pay head to the threat and five minutes later Chelsea scored. A counter attack was found Ramires in space once again and when Vincent Kompany blocked his shot, the ball rolled to the edge of the box where Ivanovic met it with a devastating left-foot drive that flew into the bottom-left corner.
It should have been 2-0 before half-time when the Eden Hazard, who was brilliant, skipped past Pablo Zabaleta and crossing for Samuel Eto’o, who could only slam against the crossbar from a narrow angle.
An exchange of chances saw both sides go close early in the second half, with Toure drilling a shot a whisker wide at one end before Nemanja Matic clipped the post with a 30-yard thunderbolt at the other.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini sent on Stevan Jovetic for Negredo in the 56th minute, but Chelsea continued to threaten, with Cahill heading against the post from an in-swinging Willian corner.
City huffed and puffed and forced Petr Cech into a couple of good saves, but this was Chelsea and Mourinho’s night.