FINAL WHISTLE VERDICT: HARD WORK WIN
For Jose Mourinho, talking following a game which was tighter than it might have been due to chances not turned into goals was nothing new this season, but whereas on other occasions his analysis focused primarily on his strikers or other attacking players, following the 1-0 home win over Swansea the manager did not have to repeat previous post-match comments.
There were opportunities for Chelsea goals before and after Eden Hazard cut in from the left wing to score the Boxing Day winner midway through the first half, but in the end it needed a solid performance to prevent a Swansea side that improved in the second half denying us all three points…
'Today I can say the biggest responsibility for the lack of goals was the Swansea goalkeeper because he made three or four big saves,' said Mourinho.
'He played really well and also this time I complain about a big penalty decision, so my words have changed a bit.
'We didn't miss chances, Tremmel made fantastic saves. The first-half save from Eto'o was brilliant, and the first save in the first minute of the second half was the same.
'That action was good. David Luiz's pass was good, Mata's control and pass were fantastic and Eto'o attacked the ball perfectly. My striker made the right movement but the goalkeeper made a fantastic save, and after that he made another from Lampard's deflected shot.
'The penalty was Amat with Hazard and a big scissor in the box. Hazard touched the ball, he didn't touch the ball.'
Mourinho spoke about the draining effect of his team not winning matches more comfortably…
'They kill me every game,' he smiled. 'Every game I am tired at the end.
'At half-time we should all be relaxed with a comfortable score, but time goes on, we didn't score the second goal and you feel that the opponent is keen to risk a bit more and put in a second striker and you are a bit in trouble. The opponent believes, but the boys worked hard defensively and in the last part they looked comfortable and we had control of the game, so a deserved victory and an important victory.'
Hazard's overall performance was one that made Mourinho happy…
'The kid gave everything and his last action in the game was defending in our box the progression of Swansea's left-back in a situation that was really dangerous. The kid was really tired when I took him off because he played a high intensity game three days ago.
On losing Ramires to suspension after the Brazilian picked up his fifth yellow card of the season…
'Ramires stopped a dangerous counter-attack so it is the kind of yellow card when I don't complain about the player. I don't want to cry, I just want to think about the solutions we have and prepare the team without him. Because he suspended against Liverpool it means against Southampton he is fresh.'
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup was not too downcast by his side's second defeat in a row…
'We started okay,' said the Dane, 'and when you play teams like this, especially at their home ground, you know there are parts of the game when you will suffer a bit. Chelsea had a chance which was cleared before the goal, but then we got better again. At half-time I thought their intention would be to finish the game off quickly as we all have so many games at the moment, and we nearly gave them a goal straight away, but after that we became okay again and the fact we were in there until the last second was positive.'