After turning in another commanding display at the heart of Chelsea’s defence, David Luiz admitted he was delighted to leave Stoke with a win.
The Brazilian was at his authoritative best in defence with a number of important challenges and blocks, started a number of attacks with his rangy passing and was involved in the winning goal when Gary Cahill turned the ball home after the Brazilian had won the initial header at a corner. All despite twice receiving treatment on a bruising afternoon.
‘It was a typical Premier League game, we’re happy with the victory but it’s still a long way to win the title,’ he said afterwards. ‘Nobody makes it easy, always it is difficult to play here. They are a strong and physical team.
‘We are happy with the game - it is always difficult but we played a good game, kept calm and had the opportunity to score the second goal. We had to believe. It was so difficult but it did so we are happy.’
His own form has been the subject of much discussion, with many surprised at how easily he has readapted to life in England since re-joining Chelsea last summer.
‘I try to improve every day. This is my goal,’ said the 29-year-old. ‘Everybody can see my football, the team is doing very well. The results are coming.
‘As a defender they don’t talk about the good things you do, they talk about the mistakes, so I am trying to play the best football I can to help my team. Sometimes you have to give them more security, defend to get a positive result. It’s important to understand my role in the team [but] it’s not just me, it’s Diego, Hazard, everybody. Everybody understands what they need to do.’
With a 13-point gap established before Sunday’s fixtures, talk in the media is about the likelihood of a fifth Premier League title coming to Stamford Bridge, but David Luiz insists not too much can be read into the team’s celebrations with the away supporters at the final whistle.
‘Of course we celebrate but we celebrate every single match,’ he explained. ‘It’s nice to celebrate. The coach is a passionate guy and he celebrated like that since he has been in England. It shows our love for football.’
While attentions for many turn to international duty, David Luiz can relax with a few days off before returning to Cobham. His focus remains firmly on the next challenge Chelsea face – Crystal Palace at the Bridge on 1 April.