How Jose Mourinho's teams have responded to big defeats

The Blues' dismal afternoon at the Etihad sent Tom Hutchence and Josh Puttock trotting to the archives to see how Jose's teams bounced back from particularly disheartening losses...

Benfica 2-1 Porto (May 16, 2004)

Porto were crowned Primeira Liga winners in 2004 but also suffered a painful extra-time defeat to Benfica – who they'd bettered by eight points in the title race – in the final of the Taca de Portugal. Mourinho’s response to such a loss was typically low-key, as he guided his team to a momentous Champions League final win 10 days later – a 3-0 trouncing of Monaco in Gelsenkirchen. 

Middlesbrough 3-0 Chelsea (Feb 11, 2006)

Chelsea slumped to what was then their heaviest, but only third, league defeat under Mourinho, away to lowly Boro. It was the Blues' first defeat in three months – before this they led the league by 15 points – and all the more surprising considering they'd shipped just 13 goals in the 25 matches that preceded it. Petr Cech let Fabio Rochemback's effort underneath him after just 78 seconds, before goals from Stewart Downing and Yakubu sealed Chelsea's fate.

Perhaps their heads were elsewhere: up next was a Champions League first-leg last 16 tussle against Barcelona, after all. Asier del Horno came in for Geremi and was sent off on 36 minutes for a clumsy tackle on Lionel Messi. Chelsea took the lead anyway, but a John Terry own goal and a Samuel Eto’o winner 10 minutes from time teed up a tough trip to the Camp Nou in which they could only manage a 1-1 draw. They came up trumps in the league, however, only slipping up to Fulham before clinching the title in style by beating Manchester United 3-0 with two games to spare.  

Aston Villa 2-0 Chelsea (Sep 2, 2007)

Villa Park has been something of a nervy away trip for Mourinho in both of his spells in England. After an 18-game unbeaten league spell carrying over from the previous campaign, Jose's Premier League runners-up failed again at the fourth attempt in Birmingham, succumbing to goals from debutant Zat Knight and Gabriel Agbonlahor. It was a game that spelled the beginning of the end for Mourinho at Chelsea, amid rumours of a rift with owner Roman Abramovich. Days after the following game, a poor 0-0 at home to Blackburn two weeks later, Mourinho was gone and replaced by Avram Grant.

The Blues lost 2-0 to Manchester United in Grant's first game, drew 0-0 at home to Fulham in his second but rallied in their last 30 matches to lose just once (against Arsenal) and finish just two points behind United. John Terry's slip in the Champions League final gifted Fergie's lot Old Big Ears too, and Grant was gone.