The Blues came from behind at White Hart Lane to earn a point in an entertaining 1-1 draw, and Jose Mourinho felt we were good value for all three.
John Terry scored a second-half header to cancel out Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 18th-minute opener, while Fernando Torres was harshly dismissed late in the game following an aerial challenge with Jan Vertonghen.
Having struggled to impose ourselves in the first half, particularly in the final third, it was a much improved Chelsea after the break, aided in no small part by a tactical switch which saw Juan Mata replace John Mikel Obi at half-time and Ramires revert back into a deeper role alongside Frank Lampard.
Mourinho was understandably frustrated at the dismissal of Torres, but was delighted with our second-half display, and he admitted he didn’t have to say too much to the players at the break.
‘Simple things, objective things, explaining a few situations but not much,’ he said. ‘It’s always a Jose Mourinho team, even in the first half it was a Jose Mourinho team. I never run away from my team, it’s always my team but in the second half we played very well. We played with very good spirit, a strong mentality, we were strong tactically and the second half was very good.’
On the overall result
‘When you get a draw at the home of a title contender it’s never a bad result. When you get to the end of the season, March, April, May and June you will see if you get a lot of points at home and win some matches away, and don’t lose against your direct opponents for the title, we will be there.
‘I’m not saying we are going to win but we will be there. We won’t be like two seasons ago, 20 points behind, or like last season, 15 points behind, we will be there.
‘If you told me before the match I would get a point at Tottenham I would say not bad. If you said at half-time we would get a point I would say okay, but the way we played in the second half we should have won the game.’
On the sending off of Torres
‘Football is football and things happen which we don’t know why. At that time we were much better and stronger, they were in trouble.
‘I’m curious to read what you (the media) want to say about it. This is about the game, and especially in this country I learned before I arrived here what the game is and the principles you need to play.
‘When I arrived here in 2004 I had players arriving from other countries and I had to educate them because England is England and other countries are other countries. In other countries people say the guy is clever and the guy is intelligent because he pretends it’s a penalty or a red card. Not in England, that’s not what I learned here.
‘That’s why I don’t think the referee is guilty, he made the wrong decision but he trusts the player. When you see the player with his hand on his face and pretending it was a violent action the natural tendency is to follow and make the decision.
‘It was a situation where the player wasn’t helping the referee. He’s a fantastic player but he’s a special guy because three days ago he left the player naked against Aston Villa. It wasn’t a penalty or a red card and he shouldn’t have played today, he should have been suspended from a red card against Villa. Today he changed the game, I’m not happy.’
On Juan Mata’s response to being left out against Fulham
‘I think this is the way players have to say I want to play, blah blah blah is not good, conversations with the press aren’t good, what’s good is the effort he made against Swindon, it’s the way he changed the team in the second half and because of that I’m very happy and I can say with 72 hours in advance, he plays in Steaua Bucharest, he earned that himself.’
On our start to the season
‘We have to keep working, there are things we cannot change, some qualities of players you can’t change, you have to try to work and hide your weak points and bring up the situations where we are very good.
‘We have our problems and some of them are not easy to resolve but we’ve had a difficult start. We had to play at the home of two title contenders so it’s been a difficult start. Step by step we are getting there.’
His Tottenham counterpart, meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas, felt a draw was a fair reflection on the balance of play.
‘It was a difficult, hard battle between two teams that wanted to win the game,’ he said. It was a fair result but the league won’t be decided on games like these.
‘The result serves Chelsea better as they have already been to Manchester United and Tottenham and drawn.
‘The sending off was difficult for the referee to judge but it was a bit dubious and unfair on Fernando.’