27th December, 2013
Jose Mourinho is starting to feel drained at having to watch his Chelsea team hang on for scrambling victories despite dominating opponents, the manager said after Thursday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Swansea City.
The 2012 European champions were always in control at Stamford Bridge but only had Eden Hazard’s first-half goal to show for their superiority.
“They kill me every game,” said a smiling Mourinho after Chelsea climbed to third in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Arsenal.
“Every game I am tired at the end. At half-time we should all be relaxed with a comfortable score but time goes on, we didn’t score the second goal and you feel the opponent is keen to risk a bit more and put in a second striker and you are a bit in trouble,” he said.
“But the boys worked hard defensively and in the last part they looked comfortable and we had control of the game so it was a deserved victory and an important victory.”
Mourinho, who has bemoaned the lack of goals from his misfiring strikers all season, said German goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel was the reason why Chelsea did not produce a more emphatic scoreline.
Samuel Eto’o was preferred to Fernando Torres in attack and he was thwarted by Tremmel with the goal gaping after twice being set up by the returning Juan Mata.
“I can say the biggest responsibility for the lack of goals was the Swansea goalkeeper because he made three or four big saves,” said Mourinho.
“He played really well and also this time I complain about a big penalty decision so my words have changed a bit,” he added, referring to a foul on Belgium winger Hazard.
“We didn’t miss chances, Tremmel made fantastic saves. The first-half save from Eto’o was brilliant and the first save in the first minute of the second half from him was the same.
“That action was good. David Luiz’s pass was good, Mata’s control and pass were fantastic and Eto’o attacked the ball perfectly.”
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger insists the stirring 3-1 comeback victory at West Ham on Boxing Day proves Arsenal are genuine title contenders.
Following a four-match winless streak, the Gunners were facing serious questions over their Barclays Premier League credentials after going behind to Carlton’s Cole’s strike.
But three second-half goals provided a perfect response, and Wenger said: “We’ve answered some big questions. If we hadn’t won we would have had to answer many questions. It was the kind of game that many people would have questioned us if we had not won and even more if we’d lost.
“Our concentration is top. We have had a difficult period but, honestly, that’s mainly down to the schedule we have had.
“I completely think that the schedule was absolutely horrendous. “When you do not win for four games it is important to come back for the confidence level and win.”