Jose Mourinho was delighted after seeing his side crowned Capital One Cup kings courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, the club’s fifth success in the competition in our history.
Man of the Match John Terry, outstanding throughout, set us on our way with a goal on the stroke of half-time, reacting quickest to pounce on a loose ball inside the Tottenham penalty area after they’d failed to deal with a Willian free-kick, and firing into the back of the net.
In truth, there had been little to choose between the teams up until that point, but 11 minutes into the second half we extended our advantage when Diego Costa, a constant threat, took a Cesc Fabregas pass in his stride and beat Hugo Lloris at his near post with a left-footed strike which deflected off the leg of Kyle Walker.
Eden Hazard came closest to adding a third when he curled an effort inches wide of the far post, and ultimately we were able to see the game out with Petr Cech seldom called into action.
Speaking to the media after the game, Mourinho started by praising the opposition.
‘First of all I want to say that in the middle of my happiness is space to think about Mauricio Pochettino, his staff and Tottenham as a team and a club,’ said the Blues boss. ‘I met him in Spain many years ago as a player and then when he was a young manager when I was at Real Madrid. He came to England, proved himself, nobody game him anything for free.
‘He did fantastic work at Southampton, came to a big club like Tottenham and is building a fantastic team. They gave us a hard final, they made us be humble and think about the game strategically.
‘The second thing I want to say is that now I don’t think about John Terry, Azpilicueta or Diego Costa. I think about Courtois, because without him there would have been no final, we would have lost against Liverpool. I think about Matic, Filipe Luis and Oscar, the guys who didn’t have a chance to play. I think about Schwarzer, Salah, Schurrle, all the guys that started the season with us, they are all winners.’
He then analysed the game itself
‘We played to win, they were the team they are and we were strategic. We were comfortable and found a solution to keep the stability after Matic’s suspension. I’m very happy because a team that isn’t very mature, a team with lots of young players, adapted very well. We changed the position of the triangle in midfield, the game we played was one of a very mature team, which we are not, so I’m very happy.’
Mourinho spoke about the importance of the victory for all connected with the club
‘For me it’s important to feel like I’m a kid, before the game I had the same feelings as my first final. It’s important to feel the same happiness after the game. I know I have a team to build, which is what we are doing but it’s difficult for me to live without winning things even if we are doing the work to be stable for many years. It’s important for me, the boys and for the club it’s another cup.
‘It’s the first trophy for a new group of players. You have Cech, Terry and Drogba but after that everyone belongs to a new group of players, so for the team it’s very important.’
Mourinho was full of praise for Kurt Zouma, who played in defensive midfield
‘It’s very difficult for a central defender to play there, they are pressed in their faces, you have to think quicker and make decisions quicker, but our new Marcel Desailly worked very hard during the week and the kid did a fantastic job for us.
‘With just Fabregas and Ramires against a team like Spurs, we would have been in trouble because they move the ball very well. From the first minute we pressed them high, Lloris was building high instead of short. We didn’t give them the game they were expecting.’
The Portuguese explained why Petr Cech started ahead of Thibaut Courtois
‘I chose him because this was his competition, we made a decision to make Courtois our first-choice keeper because he is the young one, the future and he is amazing for his age. We said this would be Petr’s competition, but when I started giving him a Champions League or Premier League match now and again, I opened the door for myself to play Courtois in this competition. I wanted to play him away at Liverpool and we were successful with that. They are both doing so well that everybody feels comfortable with every decision. I try to be fair and Petr deserved to play today but we all know Courtois deserves the cup as much as him.’
He also spoke about Nemanja Matic, who missed the game through suspension
‘The boy was sad, we were sad for him. He made the speech in the dressing room where he expressed his pain and asked the players to have the pleasure he couldn’t have. For me the real pain was to see a player [Ashley Barnes] play yesterday and Matic not to play today.’
He admitted he had difficulties keeping news of Liverpool’s win over Manchester City away from the players
‘The perfect day was to win the final. I prepared them for an impossible mission, which was to not know the Man City result. I didn’t want a television in the hotel or on the bus. I didn’t want any reactions to that, we were successful but one member of my staff, Silvinho, jumped up on the bus. I wanted to kill the guy, a member of my own staff broke the rule. I wanted to stop them having a reaction and focus on what they had to do, we had a very difficult job against Tottenham.’
Mourinho felt Zouma’s inclusion allowed Cesc Fabregas to influence the game higher up the pitch, where he laid on our second goal
‘It was important Fabregas had the freedom to put his feet in that area. If we played without Zouma I would have needed to play Fabregas and Ramires in a position to keep the stability for the team and he wouldn’t have been there. Sometimes you are not happy with yourself but I’m very happy with myself because knew it was a decision whereby if I lost the final the experts, the ones who know more than me, would kill me.
‘It wasn’t cautious. When you are going from the first minute to reach Mason and Bentaleb in their half, so they cannot build from the back, it’s not cautious.’
He also spoke about the character shown by Diego Costa
‘He needs the team, without them it’s difficult to do anything. He needs to keep his nature as a person and a player. He played a final at the top of his motivation, there was no yellow card because he did nothing to deserve a yellow card.
‘Diego has to be Diego, to feel the differences between playing in a Latin country and playing here, and I think he’s doing it very well for us.’