West Ham 0 Chelsea 1: Jose Mourinho reveals Nemanja Matic injured himself celebrating Capital One Cup triumph on Sunday

The midfielder served the second of his two-match ban tonight

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho revealed tonight that Nemanja Matic injured himself in Sunday’s celebrations at Wembley after the Capital One Cup final and would not have been fit for the 1-0 victory over West Ham, had he not been suspended.

Mourinho saw the funny side of the situation saying that Matic would be fit in time for Chelsea’s next match, against Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday. He said that the player had twisted his ankle having neglected to put on his ankle tape when he changed into his Chelsea kit and shin-pads to join in the cup celebrations on the pitch.

Mourinho said: “He got an injury celebrating the cup. I'm not kidding. It's not a big injury, but today he couldn't have played. He twisted his ankle. If he had not been suspended, he could not have played today. [He was] on the pitch. He had shin-pads on, but he didn't have tape on.

“He will play against Paris. He will be in training on Saturday or Sunday. It is not a good thing that we play Leicester in two months [the league fixture they missed at the weekend]. That's not a good thing, for someone in the title race to have played one match less. I would prefer to play Leicester [this weekend]. But we deserve these two days off, this discontent with football for a few days. The people in the dressing room are tired.”

 

Asked whether the hard-fought win over West Ham could be a significant moment in the title race, Mourinho said his team would have to grind out different kinds of victories were they to win the title in May.

He said: “What I see is that, in every title race, you have different matches to play. Matches where you need your quality to win. Others where you need luck to win. Others still where you need to adapt to the opponent. Today was one of those. We had to adapt.

“[We had] John [Terry], [Gary] Cahill and [Kurt] Zouma, to [deal with] the direct football; [Thibaut] Courtois amazing in everything; the midfield trying to keep the ball and reach the attacking players to kill the game. But we faced some periods where we had to defend with everything. It was a game where you can easily lose two points. I'm happy with the fact we won.”

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Nemanja Matic (far right) slides across the Wembley turf on Sunday

Mourinho said that he did not believe that Eden Hazard was in an offside position when he scored the only goal of the game in the first half. Sam Allardyce disagreed. “The goal was offside, too,” he said. “Kevin Nolan was offside at Old Trafford when we scored to make it 2-2. There was half an inch of his nose offside. There were about six inches of his body offside today, so that's disappointing.

“But I couldn't ask for any more. A terrific game of football, a fabulous effort. But we were on the wrong side of the result. We pick ourselves up. If we keep playing like that, we'll start winning again.”

The West Ham defender Winston Reid was substituted early in the game with a hamstring problem and had to be replaced by James Collins.

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