Mourinho nod of approval for improved striker

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The Independent Football

Mourinho said the competition for the striker's role provided by the return of Hernan Crespo would put pressure on Drogba. "He will have to fight with a big player," Mourinho said. However, he refused to read too much into yesterday's victory. "I said before that it is always nice to win," Mourinho added. "It's a trophy only [Eidur] Gudjohnsen has won before and it's the start of the season. There are no consequences for the future. The future is independent. There is no relation to the game [in the Premiership] in 15 days against Arsenal. But it is better to win than to lose."

Mourinho added: "We were the best team and deserved to win. Both teams were good but we scored a goal and after that the game was difficult for them."

Mourinho also praised Arsenal. "They showed the team they are," he said. "A potential team to fight with us for the Premiership. They are a great team and it maybe helped that we scored the first goal and after that our confidence was bigger."

The Chelsea captain, John Terry, said that the result was "psychologically a massive boost" for the Premiership champions before the new campaign. He said that Chelsea were keen to emulate "what Arsenal and Manchester United have done for many years" and dominate the League.

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, was encouraged by his side's display - especially that of Cesc Fabregas, who had an "outstanding game" replacing the departed Patrick Vieira. "He scored. He didn't lose the ball and he controlled the game," Wenger claimed. He admitted that Arsenal struggled with Chelsea's physical, direct style. "It was a very even game and Chelsea were dangerous with the long balls," he said. "They would go very direct and we tried to play more our usual game." Wenger added: "I'm not here to judge Chelsea. They play their game. We play ours. I just feel that Drogba gave us a hard time. They played a little more defensively and a bit more direct."

Wenger ruled out moves for either of the Lyon midfielders Michael Essien - who may join Chelsea today - or Mamadou Diarra. Wenger is interested in Jermaine Jenas, but not at the price quoted by the Newcastle United manager, Graeme Souness, of up to £20m, which he said was "crazy". "We are not interested at that price," Wenger said. "I'm not especially 'on' any player at the moment."

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