LONDON // Chelsea captain John Terry said his team were showing the mark of champions by winning games without playing well after they took another step closer to the Premier League title with a 1-0 win at home to Manchester United.
The visitors had 70 per cent of possession and 15 shots on goal to Chelsea’s seven, but Jose Mourinho’s side moved 10 points clear at the top of the table after Eden Hazard’s first-half goal sealed the victory.
The result means Chelsea require two wins from their last six matches to claim the league, but Terry knows his side still have plenty of work left given that they have not been in top form in recent games.
“It was a massive win. We needed to win,” he told Sky Sports. “It was a really tough game but we got the three points.
“They had the better possession. We have not been playing as well as we can of late and we done that today.
“I think we are doing enough, we have done all season. We were in our best form early on in the season and just before Christmas. We are still getting results and that’s the mark of champions.”
Next up is a trip to Arsenal followed by the visit of strugglers Leicester City to Stamford Bridge. “We’d rather get it done as soon as possible,” Terry said. “It would be nice get it done soon, next two wins will be very nice.”
Jose Mourinho said his team were worthy winners despite United’s dominance of the ball.
“I feel we are almost there, but there are no ‘almosts’ in football,” Mourinho said. “We need eight points to be champions. It is pure mathematics.
“The game was exactly the game we want. The only thing we couldn’t do was to kill the game with a second goal. We were able to make their important players disappear. Nobody saw them. They were in our pockets. Football is talent, but strategy is also important.”
But United manager Louis van Gaal disagreed, arguing that the result failed to reflect the away side’s dominance.
“I’m not frustrated — I’m very proud of my team,” the Dutchman said. “We played the best match of this season. But in football, you can lose in spite of being the better team.”
Hazard, found a neat finish in the 38th minute to grab the decisive goal, his 18th in all competitions this season. United striker Radamel Falcao was dispossessed in midfield before Oscar flicked the ball to Hazard who burst into the area and slotted through the legs of David de Gea. The Belgian could have added a second goal shortly after the break but his flick hit the woodwork after Didier Drogba’s deflected shot looped over De Gea and into his path.
United defender Paddy McNair drew a save from Thibaut Courtois and Falcao also fired against the woodwork as United’s pressure intensified.
The hosts were equal to the task, though, and look set for a fourth Premier League title.
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