After Chelsea took yet another step to securing the Premier League title, manager Jose Mourinho has spoken after his side’s 2-1 win over Stoke at Stamford Bridge.
“The importance (of the win) was obvious. We started the game with the need of six victories and one draw to be Champions. Now we need five victories and one draw, so it’s a massive victory for us.”
“I think it (the win) was difficult but deserved. I think in the first half we controlled the game. We scored a goal in a great combination. Nobody would expect that the first shot they had, they score a goal.”
“We changed things, we tried to change. We went to two strikers, to try to have more presence in a very well organised defensive block, and after that with Diego (Costa’s) injury and Didier (Drogba’s) presence in the box, it was better to give width and depth and speed with (Juan) Cuadrado, so we tried everything, we score, we deserved to win.”
When asked whether performance or result was of a higher priority, the Portuguese man knows what comes first at this stage of the season:
“The performance is what you have during the beginning of the season and what puts you in position to be Champion, we have been there since the first day because of the quality we have shown since the beginning of the season. But in the end we are very very happy with the three points.
Goals from Eden Hazard and Loic Remy were enough to seal the points for the Blues, despite a stunning strike from Stoke’s Charlie Adam – a goal which Mourinho was quick to praise:
“It was a fantastic goal. It’s one of the goals that every super player in the world would like to score. It’s a magnificent goal, but I think when my goalkeeper plays in the limit of the box, he has to read the game. He has to know the quality of the opponent, and we know and we work a lot on that. Charlie Adam is a player that we know is strong, so normally he (Courtois) should anticipate immediately the moment we lost the ball, but it’s a very good goal.”
Despite the win, there was some bad news for Chelsea. Spanish striker Diego Costa, who started the game on bench due to injury, came on at half-time. However, just ten minutes later, he hobbled off injured again. But, Mourinho defended his decision to bring Costa on:
“In football we need risk. I take risks sometimes. As a manager when I am, like at half-time, with a result I don’t like, I risk in the second half. I play more offensive. You have to risk. The medical department risked a little bit. But the player (Diego Costa) trained twice – and trained twice 100%. He did much more in training than he did today. My medical department is fantastic, so there is no problem. We will wait for Diego again and the important thing is the three points today.”
“He (Costa) will be out for a couple of weeks minimum, but lets see what happens. But the most important thing is the three points.”