English Premier League: Mourinho takes heart from Chelsea resolve

Blues jump to second place with 3-1 win against Southampton

Afp December 02, 2013
FULL THROTTLE: Chelsea jumped to second place in the Premier League and currently trail leaders Arsenal by four points. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: Jose Mourinho believes his Chelsea side are starting to show the character needed of a team capable of challenging for the Premier League title.

Chelsea are now in second place, four points behind leaders Arsenal, after staging a second-half comeback to beat Southampton 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Headers from Gary Cahill and John Terry overturned Southampton’s early lead through Jay Rodriguez before Demba Ba completed the victory in the final minute of added time.

“It was a good performance collectively, and some good individual performances,” said Mourinho.

“It’s the sign of a team that’s going step by step, understanding my ideas and mentality, players progressing.”

And he has challenged his players to build on their recent progress when they travel to face Sunderland and Stoke City in their next two games.

“The boys have to cope with the responsibility of being there. We have to be there. Now we have two away matches, teams who need points given the position they have.”

Pellegrini sets City away-day target

Manuel Pellegrini has challenged his Manchester City side to take maximum points from their two away games at West Bromwich Albion and Southampton as the club closes in on Arsenal at the top of the table.

Arsene Wenger’s league leaders are the next visitors to City’s Etihad Stadium after they moved to within six points of first place in a 3-0 home victory over Swansea on Sunday.

But first, City must negotiate two testing away fixtures and improve on a record that has already seen them lose four times on their travels this season.

“In this week, we have two away games and six points, we must try and win all of them if we want to be fighting for the Premier League,” said Pellegrini.

Meanwhile, manager Brendan Rodgers fears Liverpool will struggle to replace the firepower of injured striker Daniel Sturridge after seeing his side beaten 3-1 by Hull City at the KC Stadium.

Rodgers also revealed Philippe Coutinho is suffering with an ankle strain and had injections to ensure he was fit enough to be named as a substitute against Hull.

“The quality of our squad, with all due respect, isn’t big enough to cope with missing two big players,” Rodgers insisted.


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