Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was full of praise for Didier Drogba after the veteran striker helped fire the Blues to a 3-0 win over Tottenham last night.
The 36-year-old bagged Chelsea's second goal after Eden Hazard had opened the scoring as the Blues romped to victory against their London rivals who haven't won at Stamford Bridge since 1990.
“He’s remarkable,” said Mourinho. “You know … first of all he’s a team player. He’s a team player. After that, he’s got one of these ‘old-days’ mentalities: not selfish, not vain, a humble guy who plays and fights for the team. Fantastic. When he is on the bench and comes on for the last few minutes because the team needs someone to hold the ball up or to defend set-pieces, he does that with the same enthusiasm and spirit as he does when he starts a game against Tottenham.
“[My team] played against him when I was at Real Madrid and also with Chelsea, last year, so I could feel the kind of potential he still has. I was expecting exactly this [impact]. And there was not even a doubt in my mind about a player who would not be playing every game like before [in his first eight-year spell at the club]. I knew that, from a mental point of view, he would adapt very well to this role, which is so important in the team.”
It wasn't just Drogba who enjoyed a successful evening either - the Special One was also delighted with the contribution of midfielder Nemanja Matic, although his booking means the Serbian will miss Chelsea's clash against Newcastle on Saturday.
"It is not a problem, no problem,” the Chelsea boss said. “[We will] play another one, like we did with Diego Costa. Did you remember Diego Costa today? I didn’t. We give confidence to the other people. We don’t cry when somebody cannot play. So, obviously, Matic is playing fantastically well for us. Obviously. But that’s the way we think: to forget him.”
Loic Remy also got on the scoresheet, rounding things off by bagging Chelsea's third of the match - however after the game it was all about Drogba.
"He does everything," said fellow goalscorer Eden Hazard, who laid on the assist for the Ivorian striker. "He is very important for the team.
"Every game, he plays very well. He scored a beautiful goal against Manchester United [in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in October] - today again. It's a pleasure to play with him."
Chelsea are now unbeaten in all 20 of the games they have played this season, and are six points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Both Drogba and Remy were given chances to shine in the absence of the suspended Diego Costa, and the French striker said he was glad to show what he is capable off against Spurs.
"We know the quality of Diego - he can score and is a really good striker," he said. "We like the way he's playing.
"But this was a real opportunity for Didier and for me, to show we can win without Diego."