Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas described his side’s start to the season as nothing special even though they are now just one point behind reigning champions Manchester United.
A 3-1 home win over Everton on Saturday evening kept Chelsea in third place three points behind new leaders Manchester City, with United having slipped down to second following their draw at Liverpool earlier in the day.
Chelsea have lost just once since Villas-Boas left Porto in the summer to succeed Carlo Ancelotti – a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford – and they have won all six fixtures at Stamford Bridge so far.
“We have done nothing else than our responsibility in the games that we have won at home. Away of course we lost to Manchester United and got a good point at Stoke but we have not done anything special,” Villas-Boas said.
“We just have to continue to win until we find a position of comfort at the top of the Premier League because that’s what we want.”
Everton manager David Moyes, who had seen his team avoid defeat in his previous six trips to Stamford Bridge, agreed with his Chelsea counterpart.
“We have been to Chelsea in the past and they have caused us more problems,” he said.
“Then we had to defend and I actually thought today we gave them their first two goals. Our defending for the first one and the second one was terrible.
“In the past we have tended to defend really well. The goalie would make good saves and the defenders make blocks. I didn’t think we actually needed to do that today.”
Villas-Boas added that he saw Liverpool as title contenders and therefore United’s point at Anfield must be regarded as an achievement rather than a missed opportunity.
“A point at Anfield is something that any manager takes when you are in title contention,” he said.
“And for sure Sir Alex Ferguson feels the same way. It gives us an opportunity to get closer to United but we still have to go to Anfield.”
Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring for Chelsea just after the half-hour mark with a header from Ashley Cole’s cross and captain John Terry headed in Frank Lampard’s free-kick in first half stoppage time to double the lead.
Ramires made it 3-0 midway through the second half, which meant a reply just seconds after coming on by Everton substitute Apostolos Vellios was merely a consolation goal.
“The second goal was a killer because we have been 1-0 down several times when we have come here and we have always been able to get ourselves back in the game,” Moyes said. “To lose a goal so close to half-time made it a mountain to climb.”
Juan Mata, the Spain international, was Chelsea’s most
impressive performer and had a hand in the first and third goals.
Moyes believed his August arrival from Valencia had improved
Chelsea’s attacking options considerably.
“Mata has improved them like David Silva has improved
Manchester City,” he said. “He gives them an extra midfield
player and you have to find ways of coping with him. He has given
them a different dimension and Chelsea are more flexible than
they have been in the past.”