Jose Mourinho was left to reflect on another mighty big-game performance from his players this afternoon following our 2-0 win at Anfield.
The Portuguese said he thought the best team won on Merseyside against a side that had emerged victorious in their 11 previous Premier League matches.
A tightly-contested first half looked as though it would be ending goalless until Demba Ba capitalised on a slip by Liverpool’s skipper Steven Gerrard and calmly slotted the ball beyond Simon Mignolet.
Though Liverpool dominated possession after the interval – knowing a point would keep the destiny of the title in their own hands – they were unable to find a way through a resolute Chelsea rearguard which included full debutant Tomas Kalas. We had looked dangerous on the counter throughout and one such lightening break deep into injury time enabled Willian to walk the ball into the net after he had picked up a square pass from Fernando Torres.
The three points were ours, with that goal and then the final whistle met with wild celebrations from players, management and supporters alike. Our boss said afterwards the result was the right one…
‘The best team won,’ assessed Mourinho. ‘The team that deserved to win more won, simple. That’s my opinion.
‘The team played brilliantly. Every player was magnificent. There were no mistakes with zonal play, which is more difficult than targeting a man. We covered space and men. I think it was a fantastic performance by my players.
‘I’m very happy with them. They have my credit, they know how pleased I am with their work and this is what they need from me. When we see the way our fans were feeling the game with the boys we are happy with that, nothing else.’
The Blues kept a 17th clean sheet of the league campaign
‘It was a defensive display? I’m a bit confused with what the media thinks about defensive displays. When a team defends well you call it defensive display. When a team defends badly and concedes two or three goals you don’t mention a defensive display.’
On the possibility of us winning the Premier League
‘We have no chance. We were waiting for this match to be the title match, we were speaking about that for a long time, but for some reason this match didn’t become the title match.
‘Today was three important points. We need one more to finish third, and if we finish third we are in the Champions League automatically.
‘The champion is only one team so we don’t want a trophy for finishing third, but we can say we won both matches against the champions. We won both matches against Liverpool and both matches against Man City so it doesn’t matter which one is the champion, we won both matches against them.’
Tomas Kalas made his full debut this afternoon
‘It was beautiful. Before the match we were laughing about it because big guys like Lampard and Cole had their debuts in the Premier League against small teams. This kid’s was Liverpool at Anfield.
‘It’s beautiful for him and not to be forgotten.’
Steven Gerrard slipped to give Demba Ba the chance to score our first goal
‘Nobody enjoys it when somebody makes a mistake. I prefer to look at that goal and say Demba Ba was fantastic. In front of a good goalkeeper and in front of a goal where anything can happen, he was cool and scored the goal.’
Mark Schwarzer kept a second consecutive clean sheet
‘He was good – very solid and very experienced. When Liverpool started putting long balls in the area for Mark and Cahill and Ivanovic they were like fish in water. It was easy for them.
‘He made not a lot but a couple of important, difficult saves. Good for him.
‘We made a decision for him to play, not Hilario, because he needs to play. He’s had a season playing just a few matches. He needed to play and this was a big game for him so it was good for his confidence.’
John Terry missed today’s game through injury
‘He has a chance for Wednesday’s game; let’s see tomorrow and after tomorrow. After the last match against Atletico I thought no chance, in this moment I say maybe.’
Brendan Rodgers rued his side’s inability to break the Blues down, meanwhile…
‘I thought my players were outstanding today apart from that final bit in the box,’ said the Liverpool manager.
‘We tried everything we could. We just couldn’t make the final breakthrough today. They defended well, they won the game, give credit to them.’