Having finished off Tottenham hopes of ending their 24-year run without success at Stamford Bridge, already severely damaged by earlier goals from Samuel Eto’o and Eden Hazard, Demba Ba spoke afterwards about reaping the benefit of maintaining commitment.
With Fernando Torres ruled out of Saturday’s 4-0 win by an injury in the warm-up, it was Ba who Jose Mourinho called into action when Eto’o was substituted with quarter-of-an-hour to go. By the final whistle he had his first two-goal haul since his Chelsea debut 14 months ago, and had shown his importance at a stage of the season when a squad who can all produce the goods is a big asset.
‘It was a good win, a very important win for the rest of the season and personally not bad as well,’ Ba said.
‘I have been patient and with patience comes the reward, so I just keep doing what I have to do, training hard and working hard and the reward is coming.
‘Sometimes not playing it is hard because football is part of my life, it what I like doing and it is what I can do, and when you don’t get so much time playing you just keep working and wait, because the other option is just giving up and that is not me.’
The way his team-mates reacted to the goals showed they appreciate the Senegal striker’s attitude, and such was the way the game ended against a Spurs side who by that stage were down to 10 men, there were moments when it seemed Ba would be added to Chelsea’s recent domination of Premier League hat-trick scoring.
‘I was looking for my third one and my team mates were looking as well to give me the third goal but it didn’t come,’ he acknowledged, ‘but when you get one when you are in a situation where you don’t play much it is good; when you get two in 20 minutes it is great.’
With the first half of the game ending 0-0, as it did a week earlier in another London derby when we visited Fulham, there was plenty of speculation about Mourinho’s half-time talk following his single sentence that sparked the win at Craven Cottage. Ba revealed this weekend’s was more conventional.
‘He congratulated the team as well because we had some good moments but he just found a few mistakes that we made and he wanted us to do better, and I think that is what we did.’
The 28-year-old also expressed a similar view to his manager regarding Chelsea’s seven-point lead in the race for the league title.
‘We all want it but the thing is we don’t have our destiny in our own hands. City still have their future in their hands so if they win the last 12 games they will be champions, so what can we do? We just wait. We will see.’