Gary Cahill and Juan Mata, the scorers of three out of Chelsea’s four goals at White Hart Lane, both spoke afterwards about the character evident when recovering from Tottenham’s 10-minute assault at the start of the second half.
Cahill struck a blistering volley, an impressive fourth goal in eight appearances this season, to put the Blues on the right path in Saturday lunchtime’s match, but two goals from the home side as they caught us cold at the start of the second half asked plenty of questions. But the answers were good as Roberto Di Matteo’s men steadied themselves and then struck back through Juan Mata’s fifth and sixth goals of the season, capped at the very end when the Spaniard set up Daniel Sturridge to make it a 4-2 win.
‘It was a tough game and we knew it was going to be like that, playing away from home, but it was a fantastic result,’ said Cahill who had returned to the side for suspended John Terry.
‘We worked hard and we created chances. Even after we had started slowly after the break, we kept going and creating, and Juan scored two fantastic goals.’
‘It was tougher than the scoreline suggests,’ agreed Mata.
‘We didn’t start the second half very well, they scored two goals, but we are a team that always believes in our qualities and has confidence so we did really well in the last 25 minutes.’
Prior to his goals, Mata shot over the bar in the first half and could have had a rapid hat-trick in the second half but his chip shortly after his second goal was caught by Brad Friedel.
‘Maybe Fernando [Torres] was in the best position to put the ball into the net,’ he admitted, ‘but two goals were enough and the most important thing is we came back [from being behind].’
Cahill was naturally happy with his cracking opening goal after the ball had dropped just inside the area from William Gallas’s attempted clearing header.
‘I just wanted to get a good connection and when I hit it I knew I had done that, and thankfully it hit the roof of the net,’ said the central defender.
‘Now we just want to keep the momentum going. We have started the season well, and it is only the start, but if we continue with the form we are showing at the minute then we won’t go far wrong.’
‘If you win and you can play as we played at Tottenham, that is the best way to play,’ added Mata.
‘We always try to play with the ball and try to move and look for the gaps between the lines, and in the second half we did it really well. We are playing well and we are all enjoying this moment.
‘What we need to do is keep training hard and now we play Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine and we want to stay at the top of our group in the Champions League.
‘It is too early to think about winning the Premier League, it is our aim of course, but what we have to do is keep going and keep on enjoying ourselves.’
There is more from Gary Cahill and Juan Mata, speaking to Chelsea TV and available now via the channel’s online access.