Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal
José Mourinho believes Chelsea won the battle of mind games in Saturday’s victory over London rivals Arsenal.
The defending champions made the most of a two-man advantage with Gunners’ pair Gabriel and Santi Cazorla both seeing red.
Gabriel’s sending off minutes before the break followed a tussle with Diego Costa, who escaped with only a yellow card for his part in the confrontation.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger was adamant Costa should have been dismissed for appearing to catch Laurent Koscielny’s face with his arm before chest-butting the defender, but Mourinho defended his star striker.
“He played the game like the game has to be played and I’m so happy with him,” Mourinho said.
The game is about many different aspects, the technical, the emotional and the physical.
“I’ve played derbies in Spain, in Portugal, in England, in Italy and I always repeat the same words before derbies: ‘To win derbies you need emotional control.’
“We were the best team. We were in control,” he added.
After Gabriel was sent off for appearing to kick out at Costa just before the break, Kurt Zouma opened the scoring with a header after 53 minutes for his first Premier League goal.
A second from Eden Hazard, deflected off Calum Chambers, sealed victory for the Blues late on.
“We improved a lot in the last two matches, in many aspects,” said Mourinho, who left captain John Terry on the bench.
“John doesn’t need me to speak with him because he knows what I feel and think,” added Mourinho.
“He knows my decision had only one intention, which was to help my team win the match.
“Defensively the team was much better. The attacking players defended much better than before, they created a compact zone and reacted very well to the moments when they lost the ball. ”
Saturday’s win capped a good week for Chelsea after they beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
They travel to Walsall on Wednesday in the Capital One Cup.
Feature image of Jose Mourinho courtesy of Chelsea FC, via Youtube, with thanks