Chelsea defeated Everton to book a flight to Istanbul for a Champions League faceoff against its former striker Didier Drogba's current side Galatasaray.
London: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho turned his thoughts to Wednesday's Champions League showdown with Galatasaray after John Terry kept his side atop the Premier League with the winning goal against Everton.
Story first published on: Sunday, 23 February 2014 08:54
The Blues were grateful to their returning skipper's intervention in the 93rd minute at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as he got the slightest of touches on a Frank Lampard free-kick to earn Chelsea a narrow 1-0 win.
It ensured that Chelsea will travel to Istanbul for a reunion with former striker Didier Drogba in the first leg of their Champions League tie in high spirits, having made it 12 Premier League matches unbeaten. (Also read: Didier Drogba could part ways with Galatasaray)
But after his Real Madrid side were given a scare by Galatasaray in last season's quarter-finals, Mourinho knows it will be a tough assignment, particularly with injury doubts over midfielders Ramires and Oscar.
"I've played against (Drogba) already," said Mourinho, who brought the Ivorian striker to Chelsea in 2004 during his first stint as manager.
"It's a strange feeling, but we know him well and that means there will be no friends during the game. We have respect for a real legend of this club before the game and after the game, but we have a job to do.
"It's in his nature to win and to score, but we have to stop him."
Mourinho added: "They are a very experienced team who has Champions League winners. The crowd is very difficult -- there will be 60,000 fans and the atmosphere is really strong, so we have a big test.
"I think this is a tie that will go to the end."
After beating Chelsea at Goodison Park in September, Everton could count themselves unlucky not to have completed a first league double since the 1978-79 season after an even encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Kevin Mirallas came closest for the visitors, missing two good chances to give his side the lead before Terry diverted Lampard's late free-kick home.
That made it five successive away matches without a point for Roberto Martinez's Everton, as they squandered an opportunity to boost their hopes of a top-four finish.
But the Everton manager questioned whether the free-kick that led to the goal, for a foul on Ramires by Phil Jagielka, should have been awarded.
"It is very soft, but that happens in this game," Martinez said.
"Chelsea have an incredible knowhow to win free-kicks at home and they did it again. I don't blame the referee because you need a magic ball to see what is happening. It happens everywhere.
"If you look at the record Chelsea has at home, then it must be more than playing well every week."
Nonetheless, Martinez was pleased with his side's general performance, which saw them shade the possession statistics over the course of the match.
He said: "I'm excited about what's ahead of us. The scoreline is what matters in the short term, but the performance is exactly what we needed.
"We were magnificent in the first half, but the only disappointment was that we couldn't score."
Mourinho's attention is already on the trip to Galatasaray, but he praised his players' determination to grind out a result.
"When you score in minute 90-something you could speak about being lucky, but the reality is that the boys chased it," he said.
"I feel sorry for Everton because a point would have been fair, but we were the team that was trying to win, which is our responsibility.
"It's simple -- if today we had only got one point, we could have ended up being third in the table. The difference is very small."