Pleased with getting the win in the end?
“We knew that here is a difficult game for us, especially for us, but I think for every team. Because only in the last season Chelsea lost here, Manchester United lost here, Arsenal lost here. So I think it is not so easy to play here against this opponent. The match has maybe been more difficult. In Italy I have never seen Rafa play with five defenders and also so compact, so it was really very difficult. We needed to move the ball very fast and be patient.”
Were you angry with the apparent elbow on Giroud in the build up to the Newcastle goal?
“No, I thought only it was the first time of our opponent of our box, it is impossible, was a bit unlucky, but I don’t know if it was an elbow or not. I was far [away].
What did you make of the penalty?
“It is the same, I saw from far. The benches are on the line of the half, so for me it was really difficult for me to say if it was a penalty, the same for the action on the other side. I was about 50 or 60 metres, I am not able to say. I am not a referee and I don’t want to be a referee ever.”
Did Giroud suffer?
“I don’t know.”
Was it a real test of character to come through?
“I think so. To win here is difficult, it is very difficult for Chelsea and for every team. To draw with five minutes to the end for us it would have been more difficult. I think that this team from a character point of view is a strong team.”
Hazard’s first start…
“I think he played very well. Maybe it would have been better for him in this moment to play 70 or 75 minutes, but after the first goal Kovacic asked me to make the substitution. So it was the preferred [option], so it was impossible for him to rest.”
“I don’t know. In Italy it was usual, of course not against Inter, Rome, Juventus but if we played against the last ten in the table, it was usual. I don’t know about here in England.”
What does it mean to be top now?
“Nothing, I think. The league is on 38 matches, so after three… it is important to start very well. But now the table is not important.”
Impressed with Hazard not losing his head over being fouled?
“Like usual, he is used to have this kind of attitude. In a normal way I think.”