Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho felt his side should have recorded a much more comfortable victory over Stoke in their FA Cup fourth-round tie yesterday but was ultimately pleased they got the job done at the first attempt.
Oscar opened the scoring with a brilliant 27th-minute free-kick but Chelsea were then forced to sweat right until the final whistle after failing to make the most of a number of great chances to kill Stoke off.
Mourinho, on his 51st birthday, felt the 1-0 scoreline was not a true reflection of the game and the way his side dominated, but was happy to avoid going to a replay.
He said: “I think 1-0 is short for the way we played and for the way we controlled the game, but the important thing today was to win and not play a replay, because we don’t need an extra match and I think that was a good thing.”
Chelsea captain Frank Lampard also felt his side should have had the game wrapped up by the interval. “First half I think we were fantastic today. Disappointed not to be two or three up at half-time and then we’d have cruised it, but at 1-0 you have to keep on your guard all along,” he said. Yesterday’s victory means the Blues have now won seven successive matches in all competitions and are still in contention for several pieces of silverware this season.
Lampard added: “There’s a good feeling about the place, the manager coming back, it took a little bit of time to get across his point I think and in the last couple of months we’re finding that bit of mentality, that sort of feeling in the dressing room and we’re going out with more confidence.
“And we have to keep that up, the minute you drop that the results turn so we have to make sure we keep at it.”
The England midfielder also hailed the abundance of attacking talent at Mourinho’s disposal that means Chelsea were able to let Juan Mata join Manchester United.
He said: “Juan Mata is absolutely fantastic player, but more than that he’s an absolutely great lad and we wish him all the best personally.”