Chelsea 2-1 Stoke City
Jose Mourinho admitted playing Diego Costa during Chelsea’s win over Stoke yesterday was a risk, but was pleased with the result despite the striker now being sidelined.
Charlie Adam scored from inside his own half to cancel out Eden Hazard’s converted penalty before Loic Remy’s second-half goal bagged three more points for the Blues.
Costa, the league’s joint-top scorer, came on at half time with the score level only to leave the pitch 13 minutes later after aggravating his continuing hamstring problems, prompting Mourinho to admit his mistake.
“If the result was 2-0 he wouldn’t play, but I have to risk. My medical department had to risk,” he said.
“The same way as a manager I sometimes have to risk things tactically, the medical department has to do the same if they want to be a top medical department like ours is.
“He has to go home, wait 48 hours and do all the scans again. He will be out for sure for a couple of weeks.”
The win not only maintained Chelsea’s unbeaten record at home this season, but also extended their lead at the top of the table.
With Manchester City yet to play this weekend, the defending champions sit in fourth behind Arsenal and Manchester United, who each trail Chelsea by seven and eight points respectively.
After Arsenal had won earlier in the day, Mourinho insisted he does not focus on how other teams are doing this late in the season.
“There was pressure because we needed to win six matches. We are not doing our countdown based on the points second, third and fourth lose, because we can’t expect that,” he said.
“Our countdown must be made from our victories. At lunchtime, we needed six victories and one draw. At dinner time, we need five victories and one draw.”
Of their eight games remaining, one of which is a game in hand, Chelsea require a maximum of 16 points to secure their first league title since 2010.
Stoke boss and former Blue Mark Hughes praised the way Chelsea closed out the game and conceded that the title is theirs.
“I think we lost to the champions. When they get in a winning position they are very difficult to overcome,” he said.
“They are a very experienced side and they have a lot of ability managing games to a conclusion.”