Willian Borges da Silva’s popular history with both José Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur is well documented. It all started in the summer of 2013 when Chelsea, then managed by Mourinho, swooped Willian from right under the noses of Spurs, after they had supposedly paid for his flight to come to London, if the popular song at Stamford Bridge is to be believed.
Sunday night’s fixture had added hype and feistiness, with Mourinho now shifting base from West to the North of London. What better occasion than this for Willian, who had been on a lean patch of form, to make a statement in a derby and in front of the man who made him a pivotal figure at Chelsea?
That he delivered a performance to be remembered is a big understatement. He was as efficient off the ball as he was when he had possession of it. The flicks and tricks were coming off perfectly and two first half goals to drive Chelsea ahead were nothing more than what he and the team deserved.
“I think they expected me to put the ball in the box but then I played it short, got one-v-one and I was able to score a good goal.”
“I’m happy of course with the two goals but the most important thing is always to win the game. We did a brilliant job. It was a big win, a big game and everyone is happy. We fought for every ball. We know we have quality to play but this kind of game is about how you fight and be mentally strong – we did everything.”
“We surprised them in that situation. They couldn’t press us, we created a lot, we pressed well and we had more control in the game. Everybody did an amazing job.”
Willian of course did not claim the entire credit of the wonderful performance. Lampard’s tactical changes as well as the players executing those instructions correctly paid dividends.
Questions had been asked about Lampard’s record against the “big teams” this season with Chelsea winless in all such fixtures before the game. Finally the answer has been delivered, and with great aplomb. (The final scoreline also reflected the head-to-head record of Lampard against José, 2-0!)
Now comes the phase of maintaining the momentum in order to finish the season on a high.
“It was one of our best performances of the season but now we have to keep doing the same.
“We cannot keep going up and down, we have to carry on and keep the momentum. We have many games coming and if we want to stay near the top, we need to win more of them.”
-Willian; source: Goal
Onwards and upwards!