After watching his side pass arguably our biggest test of the season to date, Jose Mourinho was understandably a very happy man.
Fernando Torres’s last-gasp winner sealed a 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, and though there were times when we lived dangerously, it was a thoroughly deserved three points for the Blues, and a result which takes us above Liverpool into second place, only two points behind leaders Arsenal.
Andre Schurrle had broken the deadlock in the 32nd minute, scoring from close range after being teed up by Torres, who went close moments later himself with a stunning strike which crashed against the bar.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side equalised, however, three minutes into the second half when Sergio Aguero scored from the tightest of angles, and with the game seemingly heading for a draw, up popped Torres with the decisive strike, his third in a week, leaving Mourinho reflecting on a job well done.
‘First of all, I feel sympathy with them because I know how it is to lose in the last minute,’ he said.
‘It’s a very difficult feeling, but of course it’s a great moment for us. In the first half we played fantastic against a fantastic team, which isn’t easy. We were better than them which isn’t easy. We could have scored three goals in the first half, we were dominant, we played well, we played beautiful.
‘In the second half we played against a great team, with a tornado arriving, the wind was very strong against us and pushed us back. They scored a goal and after that the game was 50-50, it could go one way or another.
‘When everybody was expecting a draw, even ourselves, I tried to play Samuel and give a bit more but I didn’t want to risk too much. It was the kind of game that you wanted to win but you didn’t want to lose, because if you lose it you lose points against a title contender, so I wanted to take a risk but with balance.
‘They didn’t want to either because they changed a striker for a striker and put Kolarov in midfield, they were happy with a point. The goal comes through a very intelligent action by Fernando. It was a misunderstanding between Joe Hart and Nastastic but Fernando was very clever with the way he did it.’
On the significance of the victory
‘Of course the points are important, but you can win and say we didn’t play well, we were very lucky, they were dominant and Petr Cech was the man of the match, but another thing is the way we played in the first half.
‘We played very well, in the first 10 minutes we were very sharp, very technical with a good dynamic. We were changing positions and not afraid to lose possession, even though we knew how strong they are on the counter attack. If we can play like this against Man City, why can’t we play like that in every match in the Premier League? That’s the self-esteem we need.
‘The important thing is that we have this number of points (20) and we’ve played Manchester United away, Tottenham away, Everton away, City at home. Next week we go to Newcastle, it’s very difficult but we are there, we are not far and the team is improving.’
On his celebration following the winning goal
‘I want to but a season ticket for my son but they gave him the season ticket behind the opponents’ dugout.
‘They have to change and give him a ticket behind my dugout. I went for him, I promise. Next match you will see him there again. This is the drama of the last minute. Last year I beat Manchester City in the last minute with Real Madrid, I slid on my knees and destroyed my trousers.
‘I lost in the last minute against Bayern Munich and it felt like somebody had put a knife in my back and I didn’t see them. This is the emotion of the game, if they believe my son is there, great. If they don’t believe that I apologise.’
On Fernando Torres
‘It was a fantastic performance and even better because there was an easy chance missed and that makes it even more valuable because many times when a striker misses an easy chance he is affected for the rest of the game.
‘That was the moment when he decided he would be the man of the match. The fans were amazing and supported him a lot, they see the way he works for the team, he’s sharp and powerful and we were happy for him.
We are all happy because it’s a very important victory against a team we couldn’t beat last year, we played against them lots of times, even in friendlies, and couldn’t beat them. In the first half we played so well against a good team.
‘I did nothing, it would be easy for me to say I did this or I did that but I did nothing. We work with our methodology which we believe improves players through sharpness and speed over the first 15-20 metres. You can see that with the way John (Terry) is playing, he looks light and sharp. It’s a methodology which helps the players, we work in high intensity over short periods and that helps them become sharp. He’s responsible because he’s worked very hard since I arrived, since the first day. Sometimes he was on the bench, sometimes he wasn’t selected or I left him at home, so credit to him.
‘With me, I only have good memories of Fernando, I know it’s only a short time, three or four months. A missed goal doesn’t matter, he was there fighting for it, our team isn’t physical, we need his physicality.
‘The people playing behind him; Schurrle is fragile, Juan is little, Oscar is fragile, Hazard is little. You see City, even Aguero, he’s the little one but he’s a powerful tank, so we need Fernando, he gives us a lot. After that, if he scores or doesn’t score it’s okay, we know we can count on him.’