Nemanja Matic was suspended for Chelsea's game against West Ham last night - but would have missed out anyway according to manager Jose Mourinho after the midfielder hurt his ankle while celebrating the Blues' Capital One Cup final victory.
The Serbian ace was forced to watch the 2-0 win over Tottenham at Wembley from the stands after being red carded against Burnley, but joined his team-mates to pick up the trophy afterwards in full kit.
Chelsea battled their way to a 1-0 win at Upton Park last night thanks to a header from Eden Hazard, and Mourinho revealed afterwards that Matic forgot to put on a key piece of kit before Sunday's celebrations which cost him dear.
The former Benfica ace, who has been a key figure for Chelsea this season, is expected to be fit for the Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain next week.
Matic got an injury celebrating the cup. It's not a big injury, but if today he was not suspended, he wouldn't play," the Special One. "He twisted his ankle. On the pitch. He put on shinpads but he didn't put the tape on. He will play against Paris. On Saturday, Sunday, he will train."
Chelsea remain five points clear of Manchester City but crucially still have a game in hand as they bid to secure a domestic double.
The remain in the hunt in Europe too having secured a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last-16 tie against PSG ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho admitted afterwards that the win over West Ham wasn't a pretty one - but insisted it could prove to be key in the long run.
“This wasn’t the best game to play after that final, after all the tension, pressure and emotion of Wembley,” said the Chelsea boss.
“It was really difficult, with the emotion and tempo so high, but the players were so fantastic in their commitment and positive aggression. West Ham are the best team playing the way they play, no doubts about it, so to cope with that and adapt defensively … the players gave everything.
"When you don’t kill off a game like that you are in permanent danger so, in the end, it was a great victory for us. But I want to sleep tomorrow until midday. It would have been easy to have lost two points here.”
Jose Mourinho is totally correct - Chelsea could have easily dropped points against a West Ham side that has proved to be a nightmare for some top teams this season, and let Manchester City back in the race.
They proved on Sunday and they proved last night that they have the ability to win ugly, and that's a key skill to have in a title race. Their fans may not exactly be enamoured with the style of the wins but that won't matter come May when the trophies are being handed out.
Does it matter that Chelsea no longer play attractive football?
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