Jose Mourinho thinks Chelsea are Premier League champions and can focus solely on FA Cup quarter-final
Last Updated: 20/02/17 10:33am
Jose Mourinho says Chelsea have the Premier League title wrapped up and can afford to pay more attention to their FA Cup quarter-final than Manchester United.
United had to come from behind to earn a 2-1 win over Sky Bet Championship strugglers Blackburn in their fifth-round clash on Sunday, with goals from Marcus Rashford and substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic cancelling out Danny Graham's opener.
The quarter-final draw pitched Mourinho's men against his former club - a first cup meeting between the teams since the same stage four years ago - and the Portuguese will return to Stamford Bridge for the second time this season, with United having lost 4-0 in the league back in October.
Chelsea edged the last cup meeting, winning 1-0 in a home replay after drawing at Old Trafford, and Mourinho suggested their eight-point lead in the league meant they could begin planning for a repeat performance now.
United, on the other hand, continue to balance a Europa League campaign, an EFL Cup final against Southampton next Sunday, live on Sky Sports, and their battle for the top four.
Mourinho initially offered "no reaction" to the draw but could not resist an early start to the mind games.
"Probably Chelsea can only think about that (the FA Cup) because I think they are champions and they have nothing else to fight for," Mourinho said.
"The FA Cup is something I believe is important for them. I have to play St-Etienne (on Wednesday), I have to play the (League Cup) final, I have to play hopefully another opponent in the Europa League. I have to fight for a top four position in the Premier League. I have so many things to think about."
"The match is in one month's time. I don't want to be speaking about it."
That United do not have a replay to add to their schedule is partly down to Mourinho's decision, shortly after an hour's play, to send on Paul Pogba and Ibrahimovic.
The pair had been slated for a rest but when called upon combined for the decisive goal of the game - Ibrahimovic's 24th in a United shirt.
"The connection between quality players any time is a help," said Mourinho. "I knew that (Ibrahimovic) would be a very important player for us. One goal more or one goal less, I knew the contribution would be massive."
For Blackburn boss Owen Coyle, the game was a chance to forget about his side's relegation battle.
A strong performance with a depleted team suggested they should have enough to escape the drop and their manager was proud of what he saw.
"We gave a very good account of ourselves but nobody likes losing games," he said. "We did enough to get another shot at it. We now have to show that display week in, week out in the Championship.
"We know we have good footballers here, nobody could say they are short-changed by us when it comes to entertainment.
"We showed great spirit and courage to try and get an equaliser at the end and we will need those qualities for the rest of the season."