Oliver Holt in the Daily Mirror: After the final whistle, John Terry stood rooted to the spot on the half way line, frozen in disappointment.
A few Atletico Madrid players approached one by one to console him. Terry’s eyes began to redden. To say that the Champions League has not been kind to him would be an understatement.
He has probably suffered more cruelly in its pursuit than any other player and last night the suffering went on. He has lost in five semi-finals now, not to mention the missed spot-kick in Moscow in 2008 and missing out on Munich 2012 through suspension.
Not that he got much sympathy. His disappointment appeared to provoke widespread glee on social media. People like to gloat.
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Neil Ashton in the Daily Mail: John Terry felt a jab of pain when Adrian Lopez scored Atletico Madrid’s equaliser. This time there was nothing to make it go away.
Chelsea’s captain was playing on one leg, overcoming the odds to take his place in a Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge. The fear now is that, at the grand old age of 33, he will never get to play in another. Atletico’s first goal crushed him.
He had been given a painkilling injection to numb his right ankle moments before Chelsea’s warm-up. He will be hurting again.
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John Dillon in the Daily Express: It was the night football went on trial for its soul. Hipsters, flipsters, iPod analysers, tactic board gurus and “philosophers,” of the kind disdained by Jose Mourinho went on watch worldwide, hoping for sightings of ball-juggling, heel-flicks and Cruyff turns radiating from Stamford Bridge.
By the time Arda Turan turned the screw and prodded in Atletico Madrid’s third goal here, the global chorus of critics who deride Mourinho as the enemy of football had got what they wanted.
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Steven Howard in The Sun: And so no dream Champions League final for Jose Mourinho.
No meeting with former employees Real Madrid and the chance for revenge on the club that sent him on his way last summer. No shootout between him and Cristiano Ronaldo in their native capital of Lisbon.
Instead, as he said about Liverpool this season, he will be on his holidays. It must be something to do with red and white shirts.
In the previous home game, Sunderland had blown a huge hole in Chelsea’s title hopes by ending Mourinho’s long unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge. Last night it was the turn of Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid to administer the last rites to Chelsea’s Champions League campaign.
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Jeremy Cross in the Daily Star: Jose Mourinho has used his bus so much in recent weeks that the wheels finally fell off it at Stamford Bridge last night.
First it was the handbrake that was loosened, when Adrian Lopez cancelled out Fernando Torres's opening goal to put Atletico Madrid in the, err, driving seat.
Then it started rolling downhill fast as second half goals from Diego Costa and Arda Turan saw Mourinho and his men crash and burn en-route to a possible Champions League Final in Lisbon.
In the end this turned out to be an absolute car-crash for Mourinho and his men.
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While the tabloids focused on Terry's misery and weak analogies, the broadsheets were left to cast an eye over the wider picture.
Oliver Kay in The Times: This time there was no “ghost goal”, no penalty shoot-out lottery and no conspiracy — imagined or otherwise. For the first time, José Mourinho and Chelsea looked upon a Champions League semi-final defeat in the inescapable knowledge that they were outwitted and outdone by an even smarter, even more resilient team.
Quite simply, Chelsea were beaten at their own game last night. Obdurate and spirited in defence, powerful, disciplined and unstinting in midfield and clinical on the counter-attack, Atlético Madrid showed all the traits associated with a Mourinho team. That Chelsea fell short of those standards, on an evening when their famed concentration and tactical focus went missing, left even Mourinho to shrug and say “that’s football”.
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Paul Hayward in The Telegraph: The 2014 Champions League final: a tale of one city, with no room for the brooding, self-titled Messiah who dominated the royal half of Madrid before returning to Chelsea.
Just as the world was starting to bend to Jose Mourinho’s will again, along came a pugnacious, inspired Atlético to spoil the plan. The prize could have been no greater: a chance for Mourinho to take the snout of his former employers in Spain and rub it in the dirt of Lisbon for a final freighted with grudges. To get to Real Madrid and settle his scores, though, Mourinho had first to get past Atlético, the city’s other, blue-collar club, whose super-agitated coach, Diego Simeone, made his Chelsea counterpart look like the Dalai Lama in the technical area.
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Barney Ronay in The Guardian: All good things – or bad, depending on your tactical tastes – must come to an end and at Stamford Bridge Chelsea's defensive juggernaut was duly halted by an Atlético Madrid team too well-grooved, too canny and ultimately too vibrant in attack to be smothered for a second time. José Mourinho has now lost in a Champions League semi-final six times out of eight. It is a less telling statistic than it sounds: this is a very hard competition to win but there must still be concern at the enervated nature of this performance as a lopsided, strangely configured team ran out of steel, defending their way to a meek 3-1 home defeat.
There will be celebrations not just among Atlético's full-voiced support but also among the self-appointed pro-football lobby, those moved to raise a scented handkerchief to their nose at the spectacle of Chelsea's extreme defensive stitching in recent matches. Plus, of course, the rush will begin to cut Mourinho down to size, to claim that the magic dust has gone, the tactics are obsolete, the motivational superpowers decisively depleted.
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Glenn Moore in The Independent: Maybe, when he looks back on another losing semi-final, Jose Mourinho will wish he had shown more adventure in the first-leg in Madrid last week. In the modern game, with teams so expert at the counter-attack, a goalless first leg away is no longer a great result. It is not a bad one, but it does leave a team vulnerable.
But leopards find it hard to change their spots and Mourinho failed to appreciate that, in the Vicente Calderon, he came up against a kindred spirit.
Brendan Rodgers, with his commitment to attractive attacking play, sent his team out to win Sunday's match at Anfield even though a goalless draw would have been a good result for Liverpool, still keeping the title race in their hands. Diego Simeone, however, approaches matches from the same basic principle as Mourinho: there are no points for artistic merit.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Atletico Madrid
- Jose Mourinho
- John Terry
- Diego Simeone