José Mourinho brushed off criticism of Chelsea's defensive performance in Monday night's 0-0 draw at Arsenal by calling Arsène Wenger's side boring. Arsenal's fans chanted "Boring, boring Chelsea" after the final whistle but Mourinho, who was unapologetic about his tactics, suggested they should question their own team for failing to create enough chances despite being at home.
Chelsea, who host Swansea City on Boxing Day, restricted Arsenal to one shot on target and Mourinho relished the opportunity to wind up Wenger's side about their bluntness in attack.
"I think boring is a team that plays at home and cannot score a goal," he said. "That's boring. Because you go to your stadium and you fill your stadium, in weather like we had on Monday, to see victories. There is not a home fan in any club in the world who goes to the stadium and expects his team not to score or win. If any team was boring, they were boring because Petr Cech made zero saves."
The draw ensured that the situation at the top of the league remained too close to call, with five sides separated by two points. Mourinho said he preferred it when he was winning the title easily in 2005 and 2006, and he admitted his players must quickly learn how to deal with the pressure. Chelsea are two points behind the leaders, Liverpool, who visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and Mourinho wants them to develop the winning mentality that has defined his sides.
"The pressure is there," he said. "I have told the players they have, some of them, to learn how to cope with this situation. For me it is not a problem. For some of the guys it is not a problem. But for them, now, they have to learn how to express themselves on the pitch in this situation.
"When you are 20 points behind the leader, you can play at home one day and win 6-0. But what does that mean? It means nothing. What means something is when you are fighting for the title, play a fantastic match and score the winning goal. They have to grow and I think I'm the right guy to teach them to cope with this situation because it's a situation I enjoy."
The only disappointment for Mourinho against Arsenal was that his side lacked inspiration going forward. However, although it is more than a year since a Chelsea striker scored away from home in the league and Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres have five league goals between them this season, Mourinho does not expect to buy a forward in January.
"We go with the same attacking players, with the same strikers, with the same guys behind the strikers," he said. "We need the strikers to improve but we also need the other guys to be more effective in the way they transform half-chances into chances.
"When we have the chance they have to attack defenders, they have to shoot, they have to provoke the defenders into coming out to meet them. We have to improve in that area."