LONDON: Jose Mourinho’s troubles increased in his absence with Chelsea’s manager powerless as his Premier League champions slumped to another damaging defeat at Stoke City.
Mourinho was forced to watch from Chelsea’s team hotel as he served a one-match stadium ban for his behaviour towards match officials in the 2-1 defeat at West Ham United in October.
Chelsea’s backroom team took charge but were left tasting defeat once more as they lost their seventh game out of 12 in the league this season, to be left in a lowly 16th position by Marko Arnautovic’s acrobatic 53rd-minute finish.
Mourinho will have been cursing Chelsea’s luck as they deserved a point, Pedro hitting a post and Loic Remy stumbling as he went around Stoke City’s outstanding keeper Jack Butland – with penalty appeals ignored by referee Anthony Taylor.
Butland also saved well from Ramires and Diego Costa, but Stoke’s determination and superb defensive organisation won the day in a thunderous atmosphere in The Potteries.
Mourinho, who once more received vociferous support from Chelsea’s fans throughout, will be back in the technical area for the home game against Norwich City on 21 November – left with a fight to somehow guide his side away from the bottom end of the table.