Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho made a ‘back me or sack me’ challenge after defeat to Southampton.
Captain John Terry was restored but Saints exposed the now familiar failings in the defence which just five months ago formed the foundation for winning the title, with goals from Steven Davis, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle earning a first win at Stamford Bridge since January 2002.
The Blues, who had taken the lead through Willian’s free-kick, were booed off after a fourth loss in eight Premier League games left them 16th in the table, one place below Bournemouth.
Mourinho said: “If the club want to sack me, they have to sack me because I’m not running away from my responsibility and my team.
“This is a crucial moment in the history of this club because if the club sacks me, they sack the best manager this club had and the message is bad results and the manager is guilty.”
He later added in his post-match media conference: “No way I resign. No way. Why? Because Chelsea cannot have a better manager than me.
“I want the best for my club and the best for my club is for me to stay.”