Chelsea recorded an easy 3-0 win over visitors Stoke City on Saturday to keep pace with rivals Manchester City and Liverpool in the English Premier League title race.
A great first-time finish from Mohamed Salah gave the Blues a one-goal lead before half-time, and the Egyptian midfielder would win his team a penalty which was converted in two tries by Frank Lampard.
A beautiful strike from the edge of the box by Willian put the final score on the board, as the hosts coasted to an easy win over a Stoke team that never truly threatened the goal of Petr Cech. The Blues went looking for a fourth goal late in the tie, but some sloppy finishing would ensure Asmir Begovic would only concede three times.
The win concluded what had been a difficult week for Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho and his troops were soundly beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. This win over Stoke was sorely needed, but as Kick TV pointed out, you wouldn't have noticed in Mourinho's reaction to the opening goal:
The Portuguese mastermind isn't the only EPL coach that has mastered the art of feigning disinterest, as Football Cliches took a shot at Mark Hughes before the match:
As this fan points out, Mourinho's track record at Stamford Bridge is quite impressive:
The Special One didn't exactly go into details when asked about his team's performance against Stoke, as reported by Chelsea Tweets FC:
Alison Bender shared the coach's closed nature this season is shared by some of his players:
The win also put the pressure back on Liverpool, as the Reds will play on Sunday. Mourinho is already looking forward to the trip his club will be taking to Anfield at the end of this month, per Chelsea Sources:
According to Bridge News, Mourinho reserved special praise for two players in particular:
Bleacher Report's Garry Hayes finally reported Mourinho's views on the title race haven't changed, despite taking all three points tonight:
Speaking with Stoke's official website, Hughes emphasised he had no complaints about how the match played out, praising the pure quality of the Blues and looking ahead at his team's next fixtures:
We weren’t good enough today truth be told.
(...) We came up against a very good team and when that happens you need every player to play at their maximum, and unfortunately today a number of players didn’t perform to the levels they are capable of.
As a consequence of that, it is very difficult to come to a place like Stamford Bridge and influence the game in the manner that you would like.
We needed a real high-energy game here today and unfortunately for us we just weren’t able to produce that.
You have to give them some credit though because they are a top team and they have quality players who can hurt you.”
(...) We needed to retain the ball better in the attacking areas today, and because we weren’t able to do that, Chelsea were able to put us under a lot of pressure. When that happens then it is inevitable that they will score goals.
Chelsea will travel to Wales to take on Swansey on Sunday when the EPL resumes, but before that, there's the all-important second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals against French champions PSG on Tuesday.
Stoke will be facing another difficult match next Saturday when they host Newcastle United.