Mourinho lays second foundation for Chelsea with League Cup victory
(John Terry 45, Kyle Walker 56-og)
The mojo's back, and so is the feeling that Chelsea are set to dominate English football for the next few years at least.
With the League Cup final win over Tottenham Hotspur yesterday morning (Singapore time), Jose Mourinho did more than win his 21st trophy in 15 years of management.
He just laid the foundation for his second great Stamford Bridge empire.
There was nothing shocking about the Blues' 2-0 win at Wembley.
It seemed like the course of nature, inevitable.
John Terry's goal on the stroke of half-time broke Spurs' resistance, before Diego Costa's 56th-minute strike went in off Kyle Walker to take the fight out of Mauricio Pochettino's men.
Spurs' young Argentine manager will have to wait for his time. His consolation in defeat was that he came up against possibly the best in the business.
Few managers can boast of the Midas touch Mourinho possesses.
The Portuguese has amassed four league winner's medals from all four countries he has coached in, and has also won the respective domestic cup competitions.
During his first stint at Chelsea from 2004 to 2007, he delivered two league titles, two league Cups and one FA Cup.
This latest triumph is almost certainly the first of more to come in his second spell at Chelsea.
The failure to win anything in his first season back at Stamford Bridge wasn't down to his incompetence.
The Portuguese plotter analysed his squad, identified the key weaknesses and immediately sought to rectify the problems. He has the gift of hitting the nail on its head.
Mourinho brought in Cesc Fabregas to give his side the attacking flexibility that they didn't have, recruited Nemanja Matic for his midfield efficiency, and hired Diego Costa for the strength and sharpness he wants in his frontline.
A solid spine and balance now runs through the Blues.
The superb defence is a Mourinho trademark. The midfield boasts of power and guile. The attack is a prolific machine once more.
Only Manchester City (57 goals) have scored more goals than their 56, and only Southampton (20 goals) have conceded fewer than their 22. Their goal difference of 34 is the best in the top flight.
Five points ahead of second-placed City and with a game in hand, Chelsea are favourites to land the Premiership title.
Paris St Germain will present a big test of their Champions League credentials. They are tied 1-1 after the last-16 first-leg in Paris. But Chelsea have their tails up. And Mourinho also has quite an appetite.
He said after the win over Spurs: "I need to feed myself with titles."
The League Cup ended his personal trophy drought of two years and 10 months. The Blues can clinch a Treble if they add the league title and Champions League.
Beware, Mourinho's back in business.
Jose: I can't live without titles
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes the Premier League title race is still wide open despite Manchester City's loss to Liverpool on Sunday.
The defeat at Anfield means Manuel Pellegrini's side are now five points behind Chelsea, who have also played a game less after taking the weekend off league action to beat Tottenham 2-0 in the League Cup final yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Chelsea are now favourites to add the Premier League title to their trophy haul this season but Mourinho insists City, and even Manchester United, remain in contention.
"It's in the hands of everyone," Mourinho said. "We have lots of difficult matches to play. City have difficult matches.
"United are third, right? (United are actually fourth while Arsenal are third)? They are in the title race too. Liverpool (beating City), I predicted that."
Mourinho banned television from the hotel and team bus before the final at Wembley to prevent his players from being distracted by City's result against Liverpool.
"I knew that was an impossible mission, but I didn't want the television on in the hotel or on the bus," Mourinho explained.
"I told them (the players) I didn't want any kind of manifestation or disappointment if City scored in the last minute, or Liverpool won. I wanted complete silence.
"We were successful on that. But one member of my staff jumped up in the bus. Silvino (Louro, an assistant first-team coach). I wanted to kill the guy. He broke the rule."
Chelsea claimed the first major trophy of the season at Wembley, thanks to John Terry's first-half strike and Kyle Walker's own goal early in the second period.
The victory was Mourinho's 10th in 12 major finals and his 21st trophy in 15 years of management.
"It's difficult for me to live without titles," Mourinho said.
"I need to feed myself with titles. This is important for me and the boys.
"For the club, it's one more cup, but it's the first one of a new team.
"You have Petr Cech, John Terry, Didier Drogba and, after that, everybody belongs to a new generation of players. So, as a team, very, very important."
It was also important for Mourinho, who was trophyless in his first season back at Chelsea following a disappointing final campaign at previous club Real Madrid, having enjoyed success throughout his career prior to that.
He added: "I started in 2000. I won the Uefa Cup in 2003, the Champions League in 2004. I didn't have time to process that.
"I went in a different direction, with two seasons without a trophy, and it looked like I was 20 years without a trophy.
"This is a good problem, to have that feeling that two years is a long time. That's a good feeling.
"For me, it's important to feel that I'm a kid. Before the game, that I had the same feelings as my first final however many years ago.
"It's important to feel the same happiness after the victory, and to feel like a kid at 52 years old."
Mourinho celebrated by calling his wife, Matilde, from the tunnel.
He added: "I had my son and my daughter here, but my wife was at home and didn't know the result until I called."
- PA Sport.
Terry rules out England return
John Terry's emotions were stirred on hearing the national anthem at Wembley but the Chelsea captain has no plans to reconsider his retirement from England duty.
The 34-year-old (above) scored his first major final goal in a 2-0 win over Tottenham before lifting the League Cup yesterday morning (Singapore time).
He retired from England duty in 2012 after being stripped of the captaincy in the wake of the Anton Ferdinand affair, but is still considered by many to be England's leading defender.
"I have missed it, playing in these big stadiums and in these competitions and I'm delighted to get back to Wembley," Terry said. "They started playing the national anthem before the game and I was going then."
Asked if he was considering an England return, Terry, who earned 78 caps, added: "No. It's the simple answer, I don't want to go into it right now.
"I have drawn a line under it and the England squad can move on now."
Chelsea's success also showed the club in a positive light following last month's events in Paris, where five supporters were suspended by the club following a racist incident on the French capital's Metro ahead of the Champions League tie at Paris St Germain.
Terry lifted the 2005 League Cup under Jose Mourinho, a success which was the springboard for many more wins, including Chelsea's first championship in 50 years later that same season.
The Blues skipper hopes Mourinho's third League Cup - and first trophy of his second spell - can be the catalyst for another trophy haul, with a first Premier League title in five years now the focus.
"It gives us a taste and some of the younger players in the squad as well, inspire them to go on and win more for the football club in years to come," said Terry.
- PA Sport.
Blues fans in new racism incident
British police said yesterday that they had launched an investigation into reports of racist behaviour by Chelsea fans, weeks after their supporters were filmed blocking a black man from boarding a Paris Metro train.
British Transport Police were called to deal with claims that fans were behaving in a racist and abusive manner on a train from London to Manchester yesterday morning (Singapore time). Officers boarded the train in Stoke and asked four men to leave, said a police spokesman. Four more fans left voluntarily.
Chelsea had earlier won the League Cup at London's Wembley Stadium.