Gary Cahill has insisted that Chelsea weren't overly defensive in their Capital One Cup win against Tottenham on Sunday.
The Blues recorded less than 40% possession and only had three shots on target on their way to a 2-0 win at Wembley. John Terry opened the scoring with a deflected close-range strike while Diego Costa sealed the deal after his shot flew past Hugo Lloris having cannoned off Kyle Walker.
Jose Mourinho erred on the side of caution after his side's 5-3 defeat against Tottenham on New Year's Day by deploying defender Kurt Zouma in midfield in place of the suspended Nemanja Matic.
The tactic worked and Tottenham were largely reduced to long-range efforts. Cahill believes the scoreline shows Chelsea's approach was justified and insists the performance 'wasn't defensive'.
"It was difficult, as we knew it would be, on a big pitch against a good team," he said. "The first half was tough but I thought we deserved it in the end. We worked hard for each other and sometimes when you work hard you get what you deserve: 2-0, a clean sheet and we’ve won the cup."
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"It wasn’t defensive even though we played Kurt in midfield. Most of the time we play with two defensive midfielders but we only played with one, which freed up Cesc and Ramires to get forward a bit more. It wasn’t defensive as a set-up but defensively we were very solid."
Chelsea look well set to claim the double this season with Manchester City slipping up against Liverpool in the Premier League while they were on cup duty. Five points separate the two teams now and the Blues can further extend that lead when they take on West Ham on Wednesday.
Cahill however is happy to bask in the glory of Chelsea's first cup in Mourinho's second spell at the club for now.
"It’s an amazing feeling to win another trophy, especially for myself as it’s one I haven’t won before, and it feels just as nice as the others," he said.
"I’ve got one more to go but I’m just delighted for the club, delighted for the fans and delighted for every single player that was involved, not just today but from the start of the competition."
Cahill is right to be delighted with his side's win - but wrong to claim their display wasn't defensive. The stats don't lie and they did indeed sit deep to soak up any Tottenham pressure - and for good reason after what happened at the start of the year.
Whether Mourinho's pragmatism is enough for a club the size of Chelsea in the long run is an issue remains to be seen.
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