The goal came late in the game but when John Terry touched in Frank Lampard’s free-kick, a difficult Everton side were beaten. The two players involved spoke after the game.
The captain and vice-captain acknowledged the visitors from Merseyside had matched the league leaders during parts of the game, but a degree of reorganisation led to more Chelsea pressure after the break, leading eventually to the 93rd-minute winner when the ball was pushed past Tim Howard from point-blank range.
‘It was a great ball from Lamps and I just managed to get a touch on it, and I think it came off Howard in the end as well, but I am delighted with the win and the three points,’ said Terry.
‘Everton are a very good side and playing well under Roberto Martinez and it was a tough game. We dropped points recently against West Brom and we stressed before the game it was important to pick up three points at home. There are 12 games to go and it is looking very tight and we needed to win to put pressure on the other teams. We are top of the league and it is up to the others to catch us.’
Lampard reflected on other games in which scoring proved difficult when considering whether Chelsea deserved the win this weekend.
‘In the first half Everton were probably the better team and we weren’t quite our normal selves. We normally have a lot of possession at home and we didn’t quite have that and they created a few chances. We found it hard to get a foothold in midfield. Roberto Martinez is a fantastic manager and they had their wide men coming inside and they had numbers in there.
‘Our tactics changed at half-time and we found it easier to put pressure on them high up the pitch and then we started to create chances.
‘We had about 30 shots against West Ham recently and drew 0-0 and didn’t have any of the rub of the green, and then in another game it is slightly different. Also we went to Everton earlier in the season and were in control and they scored and we lost a tight game there. That is the way it goes and we might have deserved that little bit of luck for some of the performances lately.’
Terry revealed the team’s instructions as the game reached its climax.
‘It was just to be a bit sharper. There were a few long balls but the manager was stressing from the side to keep our passing and keep our rhythm and don’t get dragged into that long-ball game because it will only suit Everton. They defended very well so we tried to keep playing and we did that.’
Lampard reflected on the decisive free-kick.
‘I tried to put it in an area and if you get it on target you want to give people problems, and it gave them problems.’
–A clip of John Terry talking to Chelsea TV after the game can be viewed above with the full interview available now via the channel’s online access. There are also interviews with Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho.