Sunday 19 October 2014 08:54, UK
Jose Mourinho felt Cesc Fabregas scored the goal of the season so far in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.
The Spaniard exchanged passes with Eden Hazard and Oscar before bursting into the area and sliding the ball beyond Julian Speroni for his first Premier League goal in Chelsea colours.
Fabregas was involved in a wonderful Blues goal scored by Andre Schurrle in the 3-1 win at Burnley earlier in the season, but Mourinho felt this one was even better.
"The second goal is pure art for me – and collective art which is even better for me than individual," enthused Mourinho.
"I thought the game against Burnley was our goal of the season but this one is even better.
"As a collective movement for sure it is the best goal of the season. The combination was absolutely beautiful.”
Oscar's free-kick which gave the Blues the lead after just six minutes at Selhurst Park was also wonderfully executed and was the result of time put in on the training ground.
"The free-kick was fantastic. I am happy when you feel the results of our training. It is amazing," said Mourinho who felt his side controlled the match throughout.
"From minute one to minute 94 everything was under control. I am happy with the points and with the way we presented ourselves here compared to the performance here last year. It shows clearly the evolution of our team."
Chelsea lacked "balls" in last season's defeat at Crystal Palace which saw Mourinho concede the Premier League title, but on their return to Selhurst Park, the Portuguese felt he could see the improvements in his team.
"We are a better team than last season, there was a clear evolution in our team.
"The evolution is not just based on the fact that we bought two fantastic players (Fabregas and Diego Costa), because today one of them (Costa) was not playing and the team was fantastic the same way.
"Our evolution was a team evolution and I'm really pleased with that."
Mourinho declined to give a prognosis on Costa, who has scored nine times in seven Premier League appearances this season.
The £32million summer signing from Atletico Madrid has been hampered with troublesome hamstring injuries yet played almost every minute for Spain during the international break.
Mourinho said: "After Arsenal he went to national team, he played two big matches against Slovakia and Luxembourg, and he come in conditions where he's not available to play for his club."
Mourinho said he had "no idea" when Costa would next be available, but ruled him out of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Maribor and would not comment on the prospect of a return at Manchester United next Sunday.
Mourinho added: "I think he will be in great condition in mid-November to be back for the national team. That's for sure. Our medical department will take great care of him and mid-November he will be in perfect conditions.
"He will play for me when he has free time from national team."