Jose Mourinho happy as Chelsea extend their lead at the top with draw against Southampton

Chelsea 1-1 Southampton

Jose Mourinho focused on the positives after Chelsea failed to maximise their lead at the top of the Premier League by drawing at home with Southampton.

Diego Costa’s header gave the Blues an early lead but Dusan Tadic’s converted penalty drew the Saints level and neither side could find a winner.

Chelsea failed to capitalise on title rivals Manchester City’s loss to Burnley yesterday, but increased the gap at the top to six points with a game in hand.

Despite the missed opportunity, Mourinho was sure to highlight the benefit of the point for Chelsea’s title hopes.

“Yesterday, we had five points more than second and now we have six points more and one less match to play, which makes our situation after the game better than before the game,” he said.

“The result is positive. It is not negative. It is not the best result, but it is a positive result.

“I’m happy with the way the players recovered the balance, tactically and emotionally, even knowing that this point put our lead to six points. Despite that the team tried to win.

“I am not jumping with happiness and I am not crying with disappointment.”

The Blues boss also praised Ramires, brought on for Nemanja Matic, for his part in Chelsea’s spirited second-half performance.

“In the second half Ramires completely changed the game,” he said.

“He completely stopped their counter-attack, Sadio Mane disappeared, we recovered a lot of balls in early moments and we created lots of chances to deserve to win the game.

“In the second half the players had desire, they had the mentality and they had stability.

“We created more situations than we were doing in the last matches and in normal conditions we would score the second goal.”

Southampton manager, Ronald Koeman, praised his side’s response to going behind, particularly keeper Fraser Forster.

“I think we had a fantastic reaction after the 1-0 and played some great football. We had some good chances and managed to draw out the penalty,” he said.

“The second half, Chelsea pressed and we had more difficulty in keeping the ball. They had some chances and Forster was great again. It was great spirit of the team.”

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