Last updated : 16 August 2004 By editor

'If these are the so-called entertainers, send in the clowns please.

Claudio Ranieri was sacked, we were told, because he couldn't produce the football to put a smile on Roman Abramovich's face. Jose Mourinho's final words to the Chelsea fans in his programme notes were, "Let's have some fun." But at Stamford Bridge yesterday the Mourinho era began for real with a performance that, the final result aside, would have been declared unacceptable under the old regime.

Pragmatic, defensive and at times mind-chillingly dull, Mourinho was left to point to the sense of purpose that ran through his players. The same desire he had fostered in his Porto side on the glory quest that propelled him to west London.

Against a United side which offered almost nothing in terms of the imagination or sublime attacking football that has characterised Sir Alex Ferguson's previous teams, that was more than enough.'