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Mourinho urges Chelsea to stay grounded

06 October 2014, 09:22

London - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho advised his players not to get carried away after they established a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League by beating Arsenal 2-0.

Eden Hazard, from the penalty spot, and Diego Costa, with a late lob, gave Chelsea victory on a sunny afternoon at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, leaving Mourinho's side with 19 points from a possible 21.

Chelsea have only dropped points in a 1-1 draw at defending champions Manchester City, but despite the imperious quality of some of their football, Mourinho warned that there was still a long way to go.

"The start of the season is good, but it's just seven matches and the beginning of October," said the Portuguese.

"If you me tell in February we are in this situation, I say great, but it's not February or March. It's the beginning of October, so (there is) a long way to go.

"But the reality is that we have a good team. We can adapt to the different moments of the game.

"We are good when we have the ball, we are good on the counter-attack, we feel comfortable when we have to come back and defend."

An incident-packed first half saw Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois forced off after injuring his head in a collision with Alexis Sanchez, before Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shoved Mourinho during a touchline confrontation.

Courtois was taken to hospital for precautionary tests, while both managers played down their spat in front of the dug-outs.

The on-pitch action was rather more sedate until Hazard sprang to life in the 27th minute, drawing a foul from Laurent Koscielny with a thrilling dart into the box and putting Chelsea ahead from the resulting penalty.

"In these matches you need one of your top players to take some magic cards out of his pocket and he did it when the game was 0-0, when the game was tight," Mourinho said.

Mourinho also reserved praise for Cesc Fabregas, the former Arsenal captain, who created Costa's 78th-minute goal with a flighted pass from the halfway line.

 Fabregas 'understands' Arsenal jeers

"Fantastic (performance). But to be fair, he didn't have this performance because the opponent was Arsenal and he had a special motivation," Mourinho said.

"He's been doing this since day one. I don't remember a game this season where he was not fantastic.

"To play against his team, the team where he was born or made for football, I think shows even more his commitment with us and his professionalism."

Wenger, who has not beaten Mourinho in 12 matches, was aggrieved that Arsenal were not awarded a penalty for an apparent handball by Fabregas in the second half.

Also read: Manchester City star Toure turns on critics

The Frenchman also felt that Gary Cahill and Oscar were fortunate to avoid red cards -- Cahill for the first-half foul on Sanchez that sparked Wenger's confrontation with Mourinho, and Oscar for "repeated fouls".

But he also admitted that the quality of Chelsea's forwards had decided the game.

Discussing Fabregas's performance, Wenger said: "He did well. But in midfield it was very even. At the end of the day, it's Hazard and Diego Costa who made the difference."

Asked if Chelsea had been more ruthless, he replied: "We couldn't score and they did. So you have to say yes."

Despite being goaded by some of the fans of his former team, Fabregas, who spent eight years at Arsenal before leaving for Barcelona in 2011, said his affection for the club remained intact.

"I have huge respect for Arsenal," the Spaniard told Sky Sports.

"I know that I would not have the things I have or won the things I have if it was not for them. I understand the fans' reaction.

"I know they love me, but because of some certain circumstances it is not to be. But now I am with a great club, with great fans and a great coach, and I am concentrating on that."



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