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Mourinho hoping Manchester City see off Tottenham

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Ian Walton

With Arsenal dropping points away at Southampton on Tuesday, Chelsea have an opportunity to go top of the table should they both beat West Ham by two goals or more and see Manchester City fail to win against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. You'd think Jose Mourinho would be totally up for the chance to go back to the Premier League summit, at least temporarily.

You'd also be wrong:

I'd prefer [City] to win because, if they do and we win too, we open up a gap to Tottenham. If we open the gap to 10 points, and it's 12 points to Manchester United, you have a safe spot in the Champions League places.

The top four is an objective we don't want to fail. As a club, and as a team, we need to play Champions League football. It's very important for the evolution of the team, and for financial reasons and prestigious reasons for the club. So, for us, it would be better for City to win. A place in the top four is not a trophy. It's a moment of the evolution of this team. Next season I will be speaking differently.

Source: Guardian.

It's a measure of just how far this team has fallen domestically over the last few seasons (and just how enthralled much of the UK media is with Mourinho) that the manager's getting away with setting expectations this low, mind games or no. In his first spell at the club, all that mattered was winning; this year that we're even in a secure top four spot is a pleasant surprise.

At the same time I'd rather like it if City failed to win -- a draw is fine, chaps -- so even if Mourinho would prefer top four consolidation over nudging ahead in the title race, if Spurs could do us a favour that would be super.