It was a lot of work, but Chelsea and its boss picked up all three points in a home win against Everton on Wednesday.
The Blues kept their 7-point lead in the Premier League table when Willian’s 89th minute shot found its way through plenty of Toffees and past Tim Howard for a 1-0 lead they’d defend through stoppage time.
[ MATCH RECAP: Chelsea 1-0 Everton ]
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was surprised a bit by Everton’s tactics, and praised both the Toffees for their implementation and the referees for keeping up. Gareth Barry picked up two yellow cards to ensure Everton finished the game with 10 men.
From the BBC:
“Big game, big game. We found a different Everton, it’s a compliment. A defensive Everton, very well organised and compact, very dangerous on the counter attack. They made it difficult for us.
“We risked a lot to try to win. It was a refereeing performance that in my opinion was very good. We had a goal which was fantastically well disallowed by the assistant referee. A great decision.
“Everton changed its DNA, they defend really well and made lots of fouls. What we can call intelligent fouls. But if the referee follows the rules it’s yellow card, yellow card and they paid the price for that. This is not a criticism, but they foul, foul, foul.”
Roberto Martinez certainly disagreed, but in the words of Bob Bradley: “That’s football.” Both teams catch a scheduling break of sorts next, with Chelsea next hosting Burnley and Everton getting a visit from basement-dwelling Leicester City.