It's the year of Jose's little horse

Jose Mourinho is celebrating the Year of the Little Horse.

The Chelsea manager has got his firecrackers - John Terry and David Luiz.

He's got his bulging packets of cash - Fernando Torres' weekly salary.

And he's got a couple of oranges - any of the tanned groupies hanging around the Chelsea players' lounge.

So the Chelsea manager jumped on board the Chinese New Year celebrations by declaring his club to be "a little horse who needs milk and to learn how to jump".

He might have been describing anyone in Fulham's back four.

But he was insisting that Chelsea were a little horse in a three-horse race for the Premier League title.

Does that make Liverpool and Everton characters from My Little Pony? In comparison, Fulham must be three-legged donkeys.

Mourinho is eager to downplay Chelsea's title credentials despite pulling Manuel Pellegrini's pants down in his own backyard yesterday morning (not literally of course, although that might explain Pellegrini's haunted look.)

For the first time in three years, Manchester City knew what it felt like to be one of football's lesser clubs.

No, their money wasn't taken away.

They failed to score at home for the first time since November 2010. Until Chelsea came to town, City scored almost as much as One Direction's Harry Styles.

Incidentally, younger readers, if you've ever wondered what Harry's unruly mop of curly hair will look like when he's 60, have a look at Pellegrini.

Still, Mourinho masterminded an unexpected victory, which he later credited to Billy, the club masseur.

The Blues boss allowed the Scottish masseur to give a fiery pre-match pep-talk to the players in the dressing room.

The world has been left speechless.

No one knew there was such a thing as a Scottish masseur.

A Scottish masseur seems about as useful as Alaskan sun-tanning cream. Surely, no self-respecting Scotsman is going to strip down to his underwear for a massage in that weather.

Mourinho credited his masseur for delivering a blood-and-thunder speech that would have made Winston Churchill proud, before sheepishly admitting he failed to understand the thick Scottish brogue.

Apparently, there was a lack of communication. Something that Demba Ba is familiar with.

But the players enjoyed the unorthodox team talk, laughing whenever they heard the words "Martin Demichelis".

After the match, Pellegrini was forced to deny rumours that he played Demichelis in central midfield to pay off Chinese New Year mahjong debts.


Out of respect, Mourinho refused to comment on Pellegrini's decision to play Demichelis out of position. He was too busy giggling.

The City manager claimed Demichelis was selected because Jack Rodwell and James Milner, who were both on the bench, were not match-fit.

For both men to be benched in favour of the erratic defender, they must have had limbs missing.

Mourinho was right to refer to a long-haired mammal who couldn't jump. He was playing in midfield for City.

Consider the unusual decision from Rodwell and Milner's perspective. It must have been like Rafael Nadal watching a Spanish ball boy take his place for Davis Cup matches.

That's possibly the only time Milner and Nadal will be referenced in the same sentence.

In fairness, it's probably a little harsh to compare Rodwell to a ball boy. Some of those young Spaniards are really good.

But Mourinho still refuses to play ball, preferring a little horseplay instead.

He slyly claimed he had merely parked the bus and slipped away with a 1-0 victory, but few were fooled.

No one seriously believes that a Scottish masseur inspired Chelsea to a memorable victory. No one seriously believes in a Scottish masseur.

Billy might have delivered the team talk in Scottish. He might have read out his shopping list in Scottish. The non-British footballers wouldn't have understood him either way.

Mourinho was the real architect behind Chelsea's triumph.

If he's a little horse, then Pellegrini is a woolly mammoth (come to think of it, from a certain angle… it's the hair.)

The Year of the Horse promises to be a prosperous one for Chelsea. At the Eithad, they enjoyed all the good fortune of a pair of oranges.

And City had all the attacking intent of Bananas in Pyjamas

Get The New Paper for more stories.