By Tom Finn
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho heaped praise on his players following the Blues 0-2 win at the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City last night claiming that the victory that now sees Chelsea top of the table for Christmas was worth “more than three points”.
The Blues goals came courtesy of John Terry and Cesc Fabregas, which now puts Chelsea three points clear of second place Manchester City.
It is always tough to play Stoke at home as Mourinho knows from last season when Chelsea lost, and was happy to go away with all three points this time telling the BBC:”To win here they must be a really very good team with the capacity to adapt to Stoke’s style of play.”
“These victories mean more than three points. To win and get three points, the players need the right spirit and mentality.
“Only with a great team performance is it possible to be successful against Stoke.”
One talking point in the match was a hard tackle by Stoke defender Phil Bardsley on Chelsea winger Eden Hazard that referee Neil Swarbrick only gave the Stoke player a talking to, with Mourinho saying he thought it was at least a booking.
“At that time, I felt the tackle was a bad one but if it was a bad one it was the only one,” he said.
“If the referee decided not to give a red and lost control of the game it is a problem but he kept control and we reacted well. At the end of the day it was a fair game, a typical English winter game.”
Chelsea now faces West Ham at home on Boxing Day before traveling to Southampton on the 28th of December and Tottenham on January 1st.
“Now we have to focus on the three matches we still have until the end of this period,” Mourinho added.
“The three-point lead we have is a little advantage, it is a little pillow we have to protect us – we go home happy and pleased with what we did.”