Jose Mourinho marked his return as Chelsea manager with a victory, as the Blues ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against Hull City at Stamford Bridge.
Going into the game, we were unbeaten on the opening day since a 2-1 reverse at Coventry City at the start of the 1998/99 campaign, and that impressive record never looked in serious danger as first-half goals from Oscar and Frank Lampard put us in control of the contest.
The Brazilian scored our first of the season after 12 minutes when he raced on to a Kevin De Bruyne pass to slot home, and Lampard doubled our advantage 10 minutes later with an absolutely stunning free-kick.
Steve Bruce’s side worked their way into the game after the break and threatened on occasions, but Mourinho, who was able to hand debuts to De Bruyne, Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel, was pleased with the start his side made to the new campaign.
On the performance
‘I’m very happy, I was saying before about the quality, dynamic and creativity. I’ve played so many times here and won so many matches, but I’ve never had such a period of fantastic play like we had,’ he said.
‘In the second half when I saw it going in another direction I was a bit frustrated because I wanted more, but after five or 10 minutes I was thinking that we didn’t because we couldn’t, you can’t play that way for 90 minutes.
‘In the second half we had no physical energy or mental availability to play that way. The three boys behind Fernando in the first half were fantastic but in the second half they disappeared. All of them played national team matches [in midweek]. Kevin played 85 minutes against France, Oscar played 80 minutes against Switzerland and Eden played 70 minutes against France.
‘When the creativity disappeared we lost the danger in our game. I tried to make a couple of changes but at that time the game was bad, we sat back but our defensive block was very comfortable. The second half wasn’t comparable to the first half but the first half was fantastic.
‘I’m happy we managed to win and show this is the football we want to play and can play. Now it’s up to me to make it happen more often.’
On the reception he was given by the Chelsea supporters
‘It was fantastic, it gives me more responsibility I guess, but at the same time they know I will give everything for this club. The reception was amazing, I was expecting that because I played here with Inter as an opponent and it was fantastic, so I could imagine that coming back to Chelsea it would be like that.
‘But when the game started I focused on the game, and from then on they gave me more than I deserved. From now on they have to support the players, I know they like me a lot, that’s a positive and we need that every game, especially on Wednesday because we have a very difficult opponent.’
On Roman Abramovich wishing the team luck ahead of the game
‘It’s great for the players to feel the atmosphere around, it’s my fifth season I start with Chelsea and it was the first time we had Mr Abramovich in the dressing room before the game with us.
‘Everybody was in the dressing room; the medical department, players not selected, everyone together, and to have Mr Abramovic coming from his holiday to be there with us meant a lot.
‘We are together, we know where we want to go and we know the profile of squad we have. When you see De Bruyne, Oscar and Hazard, who are kids, Van Ginkel is another one. They need stability and we want to give them conditions to be better, but we need to win matches. We can try to make this progression at the same time – get results and support the boys.’
On the more experienced players helping their younger team-mates
‘The young people need the older generation to be amongst them. We need the four or five players we have to do the fantastic work and support the kids. The kids want to learn and work hard, we have great examples with the other guys and their work ethic, so I’m very happy to work with this profile of squad.’
On the chances of adding to the squad in the coming weeks
‘We will try until the last day to add a new player to the squad, a striker, but at this moment every striker has a club and belongs to somebody. I don’t think it’s ethical for me to name players that belong to other clubs.
‘If we have to make a bid we will do it in an official way, we don’t speak to players, we speak to clubs. We will talk to the club in the correct manner and we will try that until the last day of the window.’
Mourinho’s opposite number Steve Bruce, meanwhile, felt his side paid the price for not dealing with our early onslaught.
‘In the second half we were much better but during the first 25-30 minutes, the whole ground was behind the new manager, and a lot of teams would have found it difficult to play against a very good Chelsea team with their movement, it was very difficult,’ he explained.
‘They were incredible, we knew as soon as we went out there it was always going to be difficult. McGregor made a good save from the penalty but couldn’t do anything about the other two. It was a fantastic free-kick from Lampard but I didn’t think it was a free-kick.
‘Mourinho obviously thinks a lot of Chelsea and they will be a force again, make no mistake about that.’
Mourinho will be answering questions from supporters in a forthcoming edition of the club’s official magazine. Fans can submit questions via twitter using #CFCMag.