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More misery for Mourinho as Chelsea flop again

Struggling Chelsea lost 1-0 to Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. Picture: Chelsea FC Facebook page

LONDON - Chelsea failed to deliver the Premier League gift that might have taken the suffocating pressure off an absent friend as manager Jose Mourinho was forced to endure yet another defeat at Stoke City on Saturday.

Mourinho had shrugged that his stadium ban might force him to watch the match on a street corner on his iPad but wherever he saw the game, Marko Arnautovic's 52nd minute volley in Stoke's 1-0 win will have made for wretched viewing for him.

Despite largely dominating proceedings in one of their better performances of an abject season, Arnautovic's acrobatic volley was enough to consign Mourinho's team to a seventh league defeat of the campaign.

Mourinho, who received the Football Association ban after he made abusive comments to referee Jon Moss during last month's defeat at West Ham United, will have suffered agonies after witnessing Pedro hitting the post with a curling strike as Chelsea piled on late pressure.

The defeat drops Chelsea to 16th place, astonishingly hovering just three points above the relegation zone and placing further question marks over Mourinho's future at the club he led to championship glory just six months ago.