Two of the main protagonists of Saturday’s victory over Everton have had their say on a third straight Premier League win.
Daniel Sturridge turned in his eighth goal in nine games to set the ball rolling after half an hour, while Juan Mata laid on the third for Ramires after instigating a superb breakaway.
“I enjoyed the match because it was an important game for us. We needed to win to keep up at the top of the table, and it was a good game,’ said the Spaniard, who was conducting only his second interview in English after speaking with the official Chelsea website last week.
‘From the first match I had a goal and it brought confidence for me, and I am enjoying the city and the club,’ he added.
Goalscorer Sturridge believes he is in as rich a vein of form as he can remember.
‘I’d say so professionally, I think it’s the best I’ve played,’ said the 22-year-old. ‘In the youth team I used to do It regularly but it comes as a surprise to me because I’m doing it in the professional game. I’m enjoying it and I’m happy I’m taking it into the first team.
‘We played a great team game. The manager told us to move the ball quickly and play one-touch football as much as possible and I think we did that very well.’
The win closed the gap to Manchester United, who could only draw at Liverpool, and allowed us to keep in touch with Manchester City, who were winners against Aston Villa. Sturridge however is happy for the other sides in the title race to draw the lion’s share of attention and media coverage.
‘I’m happy for everyone not to talk about us and for us to get on with what we’re doing,’ said the former City player. ‘We’re just happy if we continue beating every opposition put in front of us. It doesn’t matter what the opposition is, we want to win every game.’
Finally, Sturridge was asked for his opinion on Mata, who only arrived in English football in late August.
‘He gives everything every single game,’ he said. ‘He runs very hard every game and is a very creative player for us, making a lot of chances and scoring his fair share of goals.
‘He’s a great acquisition and we’re glad to have him.’
By Clare Smith