Jose Mourinho hailed Chelsea's battling qualities in 1-0 win at West Ham
Last Updated: 05/03/15 8:34am
Jose Mourinho hailed the battling qualities of his Chelsea side and described a 1-0 win over West Ham as "massive".
Eden Hazard's first-half header proved the difference as Chelsea followed their Capital One Cup win with a victory which ensured their five-point lead over Manchester City remained intact.
It might have been different had the restored Thibaut Courtois not made a host of fine saves to deny a spirited response from the East Londoners.
"When good football is not enough, we fight, we suffer together, we cope with difficult moments," Mourinho said.
"It was not the best game to play after the final. The final is more than a game, because of tension, pressure and emotions.
"Some periods we had to defend with everything. It's a game where you easily can lose two points. We had chances to kill the game. We were expecting that.
"We didn't and when you don't do that against West Ham you are in permanent danger. The way West Ham play, nobody is better than them. These three points are massive for us."
Sam Allardyce protested Hazard’s strike was converted from an offside position, but Mourinho insisted the goal was purely the by-product of fantastic football.
“Eden starts the action outside the box and he moves the ball, Fabregas, Oscar, pass to Ramires.
“I don't think Ramires is offside and Eden coming from outside the box I don't think is offside. But I didn't see on television. Maybe Sam saw it, but for me, no.
"Now we are trying to build. We have one cup in the pocket. Let's see what we can do.”
Mourinho, who has been critical of match officials this season, praised referee Andre Marriner and his team after an action-packed contest.
"This match must be a nightmare for a referee. For me Andre and his assistants had a good game."