Mourinho respects opponents

COBHAM. — Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insisted yesterday that he has a high regard for the Barclays English Premier League soccer leaders’ major English rivals after being accused of lacking “respect” by Manchester City’s Yaya Toure.

Mourinho’s side are seven points clear at the top of the English Premier League table ahead of today’s trip to Aston Villa.

Three days later they have the chance of securing a place in the Champions League quarter-finals if they beat Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of their last 16 tie, which is poised at 1-1.

Jose Mourinho
With Arsenal and Manchester City exiting the Champions League this week at the hands of Bayern Munich and Barcelona respectively, Mourinho’s team are the only English club still in contention to be crowned champions at home and in Europe.

However, the Portuguese manager continues to play down Chelsea’s prospects of winning the Premier League by pointing out that City, who already have a better goal difference, can close the nine-point gap to the Blues by winning their three games in hand.

His claims prompted a reaction from City midfielder Toure, who earlier this week accused Mourinho of a lack of “respect” by discussing the prospects of rival teams.

“It’s his (Toure’s) opinion,” Mourinho told a news conference at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground south of London yesterday. “I respect it.” - AFP.
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