Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Battling Chelsea Should Get More Credit, Says Jose; Blues Have a Team Spirit That Money Can't Buy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Battling Chelsea Should Get More Credit, Says Jose; Blues Have a Team Spirit That Money Can't Buy

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON JOHNSON

Barclays Premiership

Sunderland 1 Chelsea 2

Scorer: Lawrence 12 Scorers: Crespo 28, Robben 69 Booked: Stead

Booked: Robben, C Cole

Attendance: 32,420

Referee: Chris Foy Sent off: Robben

SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON may have questioned whether some of Chelsea signings have given value for money, but boss Jose Mourinho believes his side showed the kind of character that can't be bought to beat Sunderland.

Chelsea not only came from behind to beat a battling Sunderland, but had to play the last 20 minutes with 10 men due to the farcical sending off of Arjen Robben for over-celebrating. It secured a club record 10th consecutive victory in the top flight and extended their lead in the Premiership to a mammoth 16 points, but Mourinho still found a cause for complaint.

Surprisingly, it wasn't referee Chris Foy, who he felt had no choice but to apply the rules when Robben left the pitch to celebrate with the away fans after scoring what turned out to be the winning goal. Mourinho is more fed up that his side's success is still being attributed to Roman Abramovich's chequebook rather than their endeavour on the pitch.

He said: "Our team has some qualities that money can't buy and when people sometimes don't give credit for our work, it is because they don't understand the world where we are.

"I want people to tell me how many big teams in the world with the top players in the world can fight like Chelsea or spend the last 15 minutes against Sunderland down to 10 men, fighting in the air, first ball, second ball, corner kick and free-kick.

"There are things money can't buy: team spirit, organisation and mentality.

We have these kind of qualities and not because someone gave them to us. I was concerned when Sunderland took the lead but at the same time I knew that that goal will wake up a team that is sleeping because we were sleeping. …

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