Jose Mourinho praised the longevity of John Terry after the Chelsea captain’s goal breached the West Ham defence to set up a 2-0 win for the Barclays Premier League leaders at Stamford Bridge.
Scorers: Chelsea - Terry (31), Costa (62)
The Hammers, who began the day in fourth place, have been transformed since being criticised by Mourinho for playing “football from the 19th century” last season and joked on Twitter they had arrived at Stamford Bridge by horse and cart.
Yet Sam Allardyce’s men sat back and were overrun by Chelsea, who broke the deadlock through Terry’s first-half tap-in. It was his second goal in two games and a ninth win from nine home games was completed by Diego Costa’s 13th of the season.
“He always had that [goalscoring ability],” said Mourinho, who made Terry captain during his first spell. “He’s full of confidence. I see my John of 2004, 05, 06. I see him. I don’t see any difference. I only see a difference when I see his twin [daughters] when they go to the training ground because they were born in that period and now they are running and kicking balls. In him there is no difference. He’s playing so good.”
Chelsea were comfortable winners, but it might have been more straightforward had they added to Terry’s opener before the interval.
Adrian saved well from Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic went down in the box, angering Andy Carroll and West Ham. Hammers boss Allardyce said: “I thought he went down looking for a penalty. They try and make the referees’ mind up for them. We all know that staying on your feet does not get rewarded if you’re fouled. We all know that.”
Allardyce was reluctant to comment further, adding: “I’m not paying any more money to the FA.”
Unsurprisingly Mourinho felt Ivanovic deserved a spot-kick. “I think it’s a penalty,” the Blues boss said. “On television it looks a penalty, for me. I think the other guy grabs him. But no reaction until Carroll reacts negatively.”
It was “just an isolated situation”, according to Mourinho. “The game was good, aggressive, but correct,” the Chelsea manager added. “The only guy that dived was [Enner] Valencia. It was not in the box, it was outside the box. Nobody reacted negatively to that.”
Mourinho was frustrated by his side’s failure to beat West Ham last season, but the Blues have much more in their armoury this term. We are a much better team when we have the ball,” Mourinho added. “Last year we were very strong defensively, very well organised, but a bit lacking in creativity when we had the ball.
“The challenge this season was to bring that creativity, that dynamism, without losing the good defensive qualities of the team. At the beginning of the season there was a little bit of conflict between these two ideas. It was difficult to have a clean sheet. In this moment we have a good balance.”
Chelsea are also hard-working. Instead of training twice today, the players opted to train immediately after the Hammers victory to prepare for tomorrow’s trip to Southampton. Some will have a recovery session, others a more strenuous workout. Mourinho said: “I had two training sessions for tomorrow [Saturday], but they were crying so much in the dressing room I decided to make a change. They are training now.” West Ham face another test of their European ambitions at home to Arsenal after disappointing Allardyce with their first-half showing.
“I’m angry with the first half, the way we approached the game,” he said. “We didn’t play like I asked the players to play. They got too sucked into a negative style, passing it sideways and backwards instead of forwards into the right areas. As good as Chelsea were, and as talented as they are, our goalkeeper was in great form but the two goals were so avoidable. We got better at the start of the second half and then gave a stupid goal away. I have no complaints about the result.”