Chelsea must play to their strengths says Jose Mourinho after taking the credit for Norwich victory
Substitutes Eden Hazard and Willian gave the Blues a 3-1 win after the Canaries had equalised in the second-half
Monday 07 October 2013
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho feels his side must play to their strengths if they are to mount a sustained challenge for the Barclays Premier League title after two inspired substitutions helped secure a 3-1 win at Norwich.
The Blues - who made the 120-mile journey to Norfolk by plane on Saturday - had got off to a flying start when Oscar fired them into a fourth-minute lead after Demba Ba's lay-off from a Frank Lampard through-ball.
However, instead of pressing on to take command of the game, Chelsea failed to make the most of their positive opening as Norwich - fighting for points at the other end of table - responded after the break.
When Ba scuffed his shot in front of an empty net, the hosts were level through Anthony Pilkington, who earlier might have earned a penalty after being tripped by Ramires.
After the introduction of Eden Hazard and Willian, Norwich saw all their hard work undone when a poor backpass from Alex Tettey was seized on by the Belgian, who squeezed the ball under England goalkeeper John Ruddy before the Brazilian midfielder cracked in a superb angled drive to finally put the result beyond doubt.
Mourinho acknowledged Norwich had pushed his side, using the strengths of a squad assembled at a fraction of the cost of his own.
"I think that if you try to play like other people do, and you have no players for that, you are very stupid," said the Chelsea boss, who revealed England full-back Ashley Cole was set for a scan on a rib problem having been replaced by Hazard in a tactical switch on 75 minutes.
"If you try to play like someone else does, you never reach their level. You have to try and be the best to the style of your players. That is very simple.
"When I say to (Branislav) Ivanovic: 'Don't make an early cross because (Didier) Drogba is not there,' I know what I'm saying. He'd be crossing for what? Why would you want to play like another team? Don't try to be clever because you will become stupid."
Mourinho admitted there was a period where he felt the match could go either way before the tactical changes paid off.
"During the game I am not nervous. I have feelings. I smell things, and when that easy (open) goal (from Ba) was missed, I had a smell that they would score a goal.
"We could have won or lost it at 1-1 because we, at that moment, didn't want a point. We are trying to be top, so we tried to win it."
Mourinho felt he had to do something to try to turn the game back in his side's favour, with Norwich pressing for long spells in the second half.
"They come in and they change the game, the manager did very well. If they come on and make it worse, it's a very bad decision by the manager. It is their responsibility," the Chelsea manager said.
"We all knew that a point here would be a bad result for us, but I think the team - not just the boys who came on - coped well with the pressure."
Norwich manager Chris Hughton was disappointed his side were not able to close out the final 10 minutes to secure what would have been a hard-earned point at the least, with the defeat seeing them slip into the bottom three after West Ham's shock win at Tottenham.
"The players put in a really good effort," he said. "Our supporters appreciated what they did and I felt we deserved to get more."
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