Mourinho ordered from bench
Jose Mourinho was ordered from the bench 10 minutes from the end in Chelsea's 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Wednesday in the Premier League and then discovered he had misunderstood the referee.
After being taunted by Red Devils fans over their league title, Mourinho watched the last few minutes from among the Chelsea supporters. Referee Graham Poll appeared to have ordered him from the bench for overreacting to the official's decision over a United foul.
"I thought I was (sent off) but I wasn't," he said. "I walked to the stands but then my assistants were saying `you can stay in your position."'
So frustrated by the game, Mourinho couldn't recall what angered him most.
"I cannot remember," he said. "With Mr. Poll in Chelsea matches there are so many incidents. I cannot choose one." From his seat behind the bench, he watched Chelsea waste late chances while United's Tomasz Kuszczak almost handed Chelsea three points with some comical goalkeeping.
Both Mourinho and United manager Alex Ferguson fielded several reserves to rest regulars with the FA Cup final looming between their two teams.
"I have to be pleased at the result," Ferguson said. "Some of the performance was good at times but we tired in the last 15 minutes. Players like Kieran Lee, Chris Eagles and Dong (Fangzhuo) were spent forces by the end."
Mourinho said that of his injured players, defender Ricardo Carvalho had a one percent chance of playing in the May 19 final while there was no possibility for Michael Ballack. Didier Drogba had a good chance of facing United.
Ferguson said it obviously would help Man United's chances if fewer of Chelsea's top players didn't make it.
"In these games, you hope (John) Terry's not playing, you hope (Petr) Cech's not playing, you hope Drogba's not playing," he said. "That's the nature of football at the end of the day. I am hoping I can get there with a good strong squad myself."
Before kickoff, Chelsea players stood in two lines to applaud the United lineup onto the field to salute the Red Devils' league title triumph.
Already without several players due to injury, such as leading scorer Drogba, Shevchenko and Ballack, Chelsea also chose not to use Cech and Frank Lampard.
United rested Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs, and had Wayne Rooney, Edwin van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes on the bench. Rooney and Carrick appeared in the second half.
Chinese striker Dong made his first competitive start for Manchester United but did little to impress. He was replaced by Rooney with 17 minutes to go.
After 17 minutes without a serious foul, United midfielder Alan Smith made with three lunging tackles that upset the Chelsea players. Jon Obi Mikel replied with a similar challenge on Chris Eagles and was shown a yellow card, and United defender Gabriel Heinze was also cautioned for dissent.
With Poll far busier than the goalkeepers for most of the game, United's Wes Brown was cautioned for a foul on Scott Sinclair early in the second half. Then Eagles became the third player from his team to be booked. Convinced he had been tripped by Michael Essien inside the Chelsea area, he reacted by lunging into Lassana Diarra. Kuszczak made two one-handed diving saves to deny shots by Salomon Kalou and Diarra.
But he scared his own teammates when he dropped a cross from Joe Cole under no pressure four minutes from the end and was thankful to see a follow up fly wide. When the Poland goalkeeper missed another corner in the final minute, Wayne Bridge's low shot was cleared off the line.