Mourinho puts record collection to one side

Chelsea 2

Aston Villa 1
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Mourinho's defences have got tougher since then. It has taken rather longer than six seconds for a Premiership side to score against the reigning champions this season - in fact, 584 minutes longer, before Luke Moore scored to give Aston Villa the lead and he earned £10,000 from a tabloid newspaper in the process, money he will give to charity.

He was able to enjoy that thought for all of 60 seconds. Apparently annoyed by Moore's well-taken goal, the Blues went up the other end of the pitch, won a free-kick and Frank Lampard bluffed his way to a goal, helped by a disintegrating wall and, in particular, a culpable Juan Pablo Angel.

The second goal was just a matter of time, despite Villa's well-drilled performance. When Lampard's pass to Didier Drogba saw the striker fouled by Olof Mellberg, Lampard himself stepped up to convert the penalty.

But the Chelsea manager claims he is not interested in records, nor in how his faltering and increasingly notional title rivals fared. Mourinho said: "I see the other results going our way but when I wake up in the morning I'm thinking about my three points and winning my match."

"I'm not for records. I want victories and points and to try to be champion again. It's nice you know, Chelsea's name is there again in the records, but it's not for me, I'm not chasing records."

Reflecting on that first Benfica game, he added: "This was better than my debut, which was a defeat. But in football you have to look ahead and the future is more important."

The future could also bring Chelsea another record, namely Arsenal's run of 49 League games without defeat, which ended in October last year. To get to 50 would take Chelsea and, neatly, Lampard to Upton Park in January, the place where the England midfielder started his career.

Not that it is his No 1 priority just yet. "I'm more concerned - I'm sure the whole club is more concerned - with winning the title back to back," Lampard said. "If that record comes, then it will be fantastic. But there are a lot of hard games to go."

In scoring, Villa managed what Arsenal, most notably, and other well-rehearsed sides such as Charlton and Tottenham have failed to do, but the key, thought David O'Leary, was not holding on to that precious lead. The Villa manager has a good record of pushing Chelsea in League games but when Lampard's first went in they were as good as done for. "When you've gone and got the lead you don't give it away with a cheap goal like that at half-time," he said.

To his credit, O'Leary did not set up Villa to suffocate the game but the eight goals they scored last week against Wycombe Wanderers in the Carling Cup were never going to be repeated here. His side lacked creativity in midfield and they missed the speed of the injured Milan Baros in attack, despite Moore's efforts.

At 1-1 the best they could then hope for was a point but as O'Leary pointed out, Chelsea are never far away from scoring.

"It's that fine dividing line," he said. "Chelsea have that something special and bang! They have that bit of magic. They have a bit of everything. They can score goals with their head, in open play, they're aggressive and good at dead balls. You can't keep scoring the perfect goal, you've got to have that mixture."

It is a mixture that will be tested this week against Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions' League, followed by a League game there.

Come through the next seven days unscathed and they can expect more records to tumble.

Goals: Moore (44) 0-1; Lampard (45) 1-1; Lampard pen (74) 2-1.

Chelsea (4-1-4-1): Cech; Ferreira, Carvalho (Wright-Phillips, 57), Terry, Gallas; Makelele; Duff, Essien, Lampard, Robben (Gudjohnsen, 62); Crespo (Drogba, 57) Subs not used: Cudicini (gk), Johnson

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Sorensen; Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Bouma (Djemba-Djemba, 73); Milner, Davis, Barry (Hendrie, 85), Berger (Samuel, 67); Angel, Moore. Subs not used: Taylor (gk), Cahill.

Referee: B Knight (Kent)

Booked: Chelsea Robben; Aston Villa Angel.

Man of the match: Lampard.

Attendance: 42,146.