Jose Mourinho praised “man of the match” Diego Costa and suggested Arsenal lacked “emotional control” in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over the Gunners.
When asked on his thoughts of the fracas that ensued before, during and after Gabriel’s dismissal, Mourinho responded: “I don’t have a view on the sending off because I didn’t see the incident on television and the game is very, very fast. It looks for me that the referee and linesman had the same reactions.
The Chelsea boss added: “Man of the match for sure was Diego Costa. He brought everything to the game, he played the game like a game like this has to be played.”
When questioned if Costa should have seen red, Mourinho responded: “I’m guessing as a kid you played badminton!”
Discussing his side’s victory, Mourinho fired an apparent shot at Chelsea’s London rivals.
“I’ve played derbies in many countries and always say the same thing to my players: To win derbies you need emotional control.”
If that barb was veiled, Mourinho then made sure the message to his opponents was clear.
“15, 16 times I play Arsenal,” he began. “Only once they didn’t moan – maybe because that was the time they won.”
Costa was seen reacting angrily to the decision to substitute him late in the second half for Loic Remy, but Mourinho opted to play down the decision.
“[Loic] Remy played so well in the last game and deserves to play a little bit. Remy is fast; Diego is tired. The intention was to praise Remy and try to give something new for the last 10 or 15 minutes.”
The victory represents Chelsea’s first Premier League home win of the season and only their second overall, to which Mourinho appeared content.
“Good victory, important victory, deserved victory. What more can I say?
“We need to win matches. We won twice in three days, we kept two clean sheets. We controlled the matches. We deserved to win, we had some good individual performances and we had collectively the return of some principles of our play.
“There was a better pace with and without the ball, a better reaction at the moment we lose the ball, good reaction to the moment when we recover the ball. We moved the ball quite well and we were comfortable in possession, even 11 against 11.”
Defender and goalscorer Kurt Zouma was credited as man of the match by most outlets after an accomplished performance, but Mourinho chose to take an opportunity not to praise the Frenchman, but to praise the man he dropped to accommodate him: John Terry.
“If I have to praise Zouma I prefer to praise John [Terry, England’s former lion],” the Portuguese said. “For Zouma to play is a great emotion, for John not to play is not the best emotion, but to behave the way he did as a captain in the dressing room, I prefer to praise a player like John.
“If I have to choose one player in this squad to be my right arm it is John. He is untouchable for me.”