Mourinho backs Chelsea duo but will not comment on Ivanovic

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said he did not believe the absence of John Terry was a factor in their shock defeat at home to Crystal Palace.

The Blues were beaten 2-1 Stamford Bridge in their 100th home league game under Mourinho, having lost only one of the previous 99.

Mourinho refused to comment on the form of Branislav Ivanovic, whose poor start to the season continued as Bakary Sako caused the hosts major problems.

But he insisted he was happy with the performances of centre-backs Kurt Zouma and Gary Cahill.

Asked about Ivanovic, Mourinho said: “I am not going to analyse individual form and performances. I can’t do that.”

But he denied suggestions Terry’s suspension might have had a serious impact upon his team, whose defending was again a cause for concern.

Palace absorbed pressure and always looked dangerous on the break
Palace absorbed pressure and always looked dangerous on the break

“I don’t think so. I think Cahill and Zouma have a lot of ability and played well and have had no problems,” Mourinho said.

“It could be a good excuse for me but I wouldn’t be being honest with Cahill and Zouma, because I thought they did well.”

Mourinho felt Chelsea should have had a penalty for a first-half challenge by Connor Wickham on Zouma.

But he also praised Palace, who took the lead through Sako’s goal and hit back straight after Radamel Falcao’s equaliser, with Joel Ward heading in the winner.

“My first thought is to Palace. They came with everything,” he said.

“The team was ready, the fans were ready and they came with a fantastic spirit. They were lucky, but they deserved their luck.

“Secondly, my team I think deserved more. I don’t want to say we deserved to win, because that’s not true. But I want to say we deserved more than the result we got.”

That result means Chelsea are still without a home win this season and have taken only four points from their opening four matches.

Mourinho insisted they were capable of making up ground on their title rivals but admitted it has been a “very bad start” to the campaign for the champions.