John Terry and Eden Hazard, stars at opposite ends of the pitch during our 3-0 win at Southampton, reflected on a job well done after we brought the festive fixtures to a conclusion in the best possible way.
The win at St Mary’s, secured courtesy of second-half goals from Fernando Torres and substitutes Willian and Oscar, ensured a fourth victory in five matches, and one that keeps us to within just two points of leaders Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League table.
Terry felt it was important for us to build on Sunday’s impressive 2-1 win against Liverpool down on the south coast.
‘It was very important,’ he said. ‘The manager stressed that there was no point beating Liverpool and going away to Arsenal and picking up a point against a very good side if we threw it all away.
‘At half-time the manager talked about closing the game out, that’s the first time we’ve done that, particularly away from home, and it was nice to have the lead.’
Our opening goal, scored on the hour, was largely fortuitous, with Oscar’s cross crashing against the foot of the post before rebounding into the path of Torres, but the Blues’ skipper thought the Spaniard deserved a slice of luck following his first-half display.
‘After the first chance he created on his own, he went past a couple of players and was unlucky with the finish, so Nando, out of everyone, deserved that little bit of luck for it to fall right in front of goal,’ said the Chelsea captain.
‘Hopefully in the New Year he can kick on and score some more goals but from the team’s point of view it was a very good performance.’
Equally important as the three goals scored was a third clean sheet in four games for a defence marshalled impeccably by Terry, but the 33 year old preferred to pay tribute to the player who was central to all our good work in the attacking third – Hazard.
‘He’s been different class for us; when we bought him we knew he was a world class player and he’s proving that game after game,’ explained Terry.
‘He’s getting stronger and stronger, he’s our top scorer at the moment as well so he’s vitally important going forward but he’s working hard defensively as well so he’s a great asset.’
The Belgian himself, meanwhile, was delighted with the manner of the victory.
‘It was important for the team and supporters,’ Hazard stated. ‘It’s always difficult here and we played very well.
‘I try to work for the team; the game was very good for me against a Southampton side who played well.
‘We’ll keep going, every week we try to stay near the top. We know Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool are all very good but we’ll keep doing our best.’