Jose Mourinho was is a good mood this evening, after Chelsea saw off Stoke City 2-0 at the Britannia. He spoke with the media about the performance, and had special praise for Eden Hazard, who had a fine display against the Potters:
‘He did a lot. We need that. Today we decided to play Mikel and Matic so we lose one creative player. We had that stability in the team, and left Fabregas, Willian and Hazard the responsibility to create and they were not afraid to do that. They put themselves in every situation and I think the kid was fantastic.'
‘It was a difficult fight for the kid, but also a difficult match for Bardsley. He showed what he is, Bardsley was injured and Eden a few minutes after being injured that way, put the ball out. I wouldn’t do it for a guy who kicked me a few minutes before! The kid is a fantastic kid.’
He also chimed on on the Bardsley tackle, which looked awfully dangerous from where I was sitting:
‘From my position and in a flash, it looks for me a red card, but I don’t know. What I know is that if it was a bad tackle, it was the only one. The game was clean, it was good. The game was aggressive but it was good. The referee kept the game under control and the players were fair. There were good fights, physicality, lots of duels but the game was clean and if it was a red card it was an isolated action.’
I'm not sure I'd ever call that a 'clean' game, but Stoke didn't do anything likely to kill a Chelsea player after Bardsley saw yellow. Now just cross your fingers that Eden Hazard is ok.