Jose Mourinho hails Chelsea's fighting spirit; confirms Matic injury
Jose Mourinho hailed the fighting spirit of his Chelsea players after the Premier League leaders claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win at West Ham last night. Eden Hazard's first-half header proved to be the difference between the two teams.
The win was particularly important for Chelsea which ensured they maintained their five-point lead over Manchester City with a game in hand.
The match was far from a cakewalk for the recently crowned League Cup champions and needed crucial interventions by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and the Chelsea's defence throughout shaky periods in the match.
Mourinho said, “When good football is not enough, we fight, we suffer together, we cope with difficult moments. It was not the best game to play after the final. The final is more than a game, because of tension, pressure and emotions.
“Some periods we had to defend with everything. It's a game where you easily can lose two points.
“We had chances to kill the game. We were expecting that. We didn't and when you don't do that against West Ham you are in permanent danger. Great victory for us."
Hazard goal was not offside: Mourinho
Mourinho, however, shot down West Ham manager Sam Allardyce's claims that Hazard's goal should have been ruled out for offside.
The Portuguese said, “Eden starts the action outside the box and he moves the ball, Fabregas, Oscar, pass to Ramires. I don't think Ramires is offside and Eden coming from outside the box I don't think is offside. But I didn't see on television. Maybe Sam saw it. For me, no.
“The only goal we scored is fantastic football. If Ramires scored that goal that he hit the post, it's fantastic football. If Willian scores the goal with an open goal it's fantastic football.”
Mourinho also hopes that the never-say-die attitude of his side can deliver further success and claims the team is still developing.
Mourinho said, “Now we are trying to build. We have one cup in the pocket. Let's see what we can do.
“What's kept us top of the league since day one is the quality of our football. [But] sometimes we lose a little bit what brought us to this position.”
Matic was injured during League Cup victory celebrations
Mourinho also confirmed that Nemanja Matic, who has been serving a two-match ban, was injured during Chelsea’s League Cup celebrations but confirmed that the Serb would be back for the Champions League home tie against Paris Saint-Germain.
Mourinho said, “Matic is injured and he got an injury celebrating the cup. It's not a big injury, but if today he was not suspended, he wouldn't play.
“He twisted his ankle. On the pitch. He put on shinpads but he didn't put the tape on. He will play against Paris. On Saturday, Sunday, he will train.