English Premier League – Chelsea 2-0 Hull City
Coach Jose Mourinho reacts:
‘We didn’t play especially well but we played well enough for everybody connected with Chelsea – supporters, players and staff – to be calm, because the game was always under control. We never felt it was at risk.
This season we’ve had many special performances and today we had just moments of good football, creativity and dynamic play, it wasn’t for 90 minutes. It was a good enough performance to win against a difficult team.
A rare Hazard header broke the deadlock, but the manager wasn’t surprised
‘I wasn’t because we knew we were going to play against a defensive line of three plus two wing-backs. I told my three attacking midfielders we needed to move and change positions, go to other areas because if you stay in a stable position that’s what they want, they want targets to mark, so I told them to try to find space between defenders. When I saw Eden in the box I wasn’t surprised, but I was surprised to see him score with his head. He jumps a lot but normally he closes his eyes, it was a very good goal.
‘We made an agreement: he didn’t play against Sporting, I gave him four days’ holiday, he went somewhere with nice weather, where he could take his shirt off and get some sun. He told me he would come back fresh and you could see the happiness in his legs.’
He said the players may have tried to conserve energy after going 2-0 up
‘Maybe the players did, and if they did they are smart and they did it well. They know what is waiting for them, if the game is under control and there is no doubt about the points, especially after the second goal, they can move the ball intelligently and save energy. As a manager you always want more but the reality is that what’s in front of them [festive fixtures] is hard.’
He is delighted we have won two games in a row since the defeat at Newcastle
‘We are playing well since August, four months of getting results in every competition, the team is solid. As I was expecting, the bad moment didn’t continue. The bad moment was losing a game but after that we won again and played well again, we did against Sporting and we did today.
‘I was right when I had no fears about negatives, the team has game principles and know how they want to play. We have a clear identity in our game, we change sometimes because we need to, but we are a strong team.’