Andre Villas-Boas has criticised the media for their treatment of Chelsea, suggesting the press are conducting a “continuous and aggressive persecution” against the Blues.
The Portuguese boss, who saw his side record a priceless 3-0 win over Valencia to qualify for the Champions League last 16 as Group E winners, believes other English clubs like Manchester City are not coming under as much critical scrutiny.
He also had harsh words for ex-Manchester United defender and current television pundit Gary Neville, and says the media will be annoyed about having to report on a Chelsea triumph.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Villas-Boas said: “The criticism of us has just been over the top.
“To be fair, from the coverage there only seems to be one team in the country at the moment, which is Manchester City.
“Now I do hope they qualify, sincerely, but the approach to Man City seems to be 'well, if they qualify they qualify and if they don't qualify, they don't' - basically, we don’t get that kind of margin from you guys [the media].
“I will never criticise your editorial choices, but this is the reality - people are taking perspectives which are out of this world, from criticising our players to criticising our choices.
“Some of this comes from a former Manchester United defender [Gary Neville] who sits up top [in the commentary box] and in his preparation for the game says things like 'I wouldn't want to be one of the Chelsea players today, I couldn't play this game, it is a difficult game for them' - this is out of this world, I can't believe this sort of thing.
“This is all a continuous persecution of Chelsea and continuous aggressiveness towards the one club.
“We have become your target and we accept that, but now you have to accept that today was a brilliant win and now it is unfortunate for you guys because you have to report on a brilliant win for Chelsea qualifying in first place. This must be difficult for you all to do.”
The victory over the Spaniards – inspired by a man-of-the-match performance from Didier Drogba – considerably eases the pressure on Villas-Boas, who could have seen his side dumped out of the Champions League if the result had gone the other way.
Chelsea now have a break until their next game, a crucial Premier League clash against leaders City – the team their manager believes are being given an easy ride by the media - at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.