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Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 5:22:01 AM
Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 5:22:11 AM
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho gestures during his side's defeat to Stoke City in their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England, December 7, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
(Reuters) - Jose Mourinho's face was a picture of frustration on Saturday after his inconsistent Chelsea team suffered their first league defeat by Stoke City for 38 years with a 3-2 reverse.
"We played amazingly well at the beginning of the game. It was like Sunderland," a glum-looking Mourinho told reporters, referring to Wednesday's thrilling 4-3 league victory.
"After half an hour we should have been winning 3-0 or 4-0 and we weren't. Normally you kill the game but we didn't."
Germany forward Andre Schuerrle had given the Londoners the lead with a low, angled left-foot drive from the edge of the penalty area in the 10th minute.
Chelsea continued to dominate and should have put the game out of reach before Stoke's Peter Crouch sparked a dramatic turnaround with an equaliser out of the blue in the 42nd minute.
Schuerrle grabbed his second goal of the game after the break but by then lowly Stoke were a different proposition and they secured a shock Premier League victory thanks to efforts from substitute Stephen Ireland and Oussama Assaidi.
"The three players behind the striker again played very well but we didn't score enough goals," added Mourinho. "On top of that we made defensive mistakes and conceded.
"If you don't score a lot of goals but you don't make defensive mistakes you can win with just one goal."
Schuerrle, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard were the three men providing the bullets for striker Fernando Torres on Saturday but the Spaniard never appeared likely to pull the trigger and was replaced by Demba Ba in the 59th minute.
"This is a team that has to score goals and capitalise on the production of football," said Mourinho.
"We are not a physical team, we are not a team with conditions to defend against physical teams so we have to score when we have the game in our hands.
"In the last 15, 20 minutes we didn't play well, the game they wanted was the game we gave them. It was easy for them and they were able to control it," added Mourinho after his side slipped a place to third, four points behind leaders Arsenal.
Ultimately, Chelsea were undone by a superb 90th-minute strike by Assaidi.
The Stoke substitute picked the ball up on the left wing before cutting inside to unleash an unstoppable shot into the top corner of keeper Petr Cech's net.
While Assaidi was celebrating by the dugouts he was given an acknowledging tap on the head by a sporting Mourinho.
Stoke's victory lifted them to 12th in the table and provided welcome relief to manager Mark Hughes.
"Chelsea gave us the runaround in the first half and we had to hang on in there," said former Stamford Bridge favourite Hughes.
"In the second half I thought we were fantastic. The longer the game went on the more I felt we could get something out of it."
(Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Ken Ferris)
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