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Oct 2, 2013

Jose Mourinho: Chelsea will progress

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claimed his side are back on course to seal passage to the Champions League knock-out stages after they stormed to a thumping 4-0 win against Steaua Bucharest in Romania.

• Lythell: Schurrle and Mata ensure Chelsea reign in Romania

The Blues boss knew his side dare not slip up again after their home defeat against FC Basel in the first round of fixtures, but two goals from Ramires, an own goal and a late Frank Lampard clincher secured a comfortable win against Steaua.

With Andre Schürrle catching the eye with an inventive performance and Juan Mata again shining as he continues to win favour with Mourinho after a sticky start to the season, the Chelsea boss was in a buoyant mood as he addressed the media.

"We needed to clean what we did at home (against FC Basel) and we did it. Schalke has an advantage in the group, but I think we are going to do it now," Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"This was a big result and now confidence comes. Make some points against Schalke, beat Basel and Steaua and we will qualify.

"The result is obviously very good, the points and the score. The performance was very solid from the first minute.

"We kept always control of the game and the result and we played good football with intelligence, maturity and to win like this away from home in the Champions League is not easy.

"Schürrle was fundamental to this victory. He was the man. We played a lot from that side and we had control of the game. We scored four goals, could have had six or seven."

One negative from the game was the early knee injury picked up by Fernando Torres, with Mourinho hoping the injury is not as bad as the cruciate knee ligament problem suffered by Marco van Ginkel at Swindon last week.

"I was surprised because I thought Torres had a problem with his ankle, but it is his knee," said Mourinho. "I hope it is not dramatic like Van Ginkel and the doctor says not to be so worried about it. Hopefully it is not so dramatic."

Mourinho concluded by stressing he was not surprised by the news that the FA will not issue a further punishment to Torres after TV cameras caught him scratching the face of Jan Vertonghen in Saturday's Premier League game at White Hart Lane.

"I am not surprised the FA did not take action," he added. "The FA represents English football and in English football, you never punish emotion and aggressive play. You punish for cheating and simulating."

Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata admitted he did not know if he was a better player after being challenged by Mourinho to conform to the way he wants to play the game in a bid to win a place back in his team.

“I just kept going, training well, getting ready for every game and I don’t know [if I am a better player] to be honest,” said Mata, who again impressed in his attacking midfield role.

“Every season I want to be better. I try to improve. I want to score more, assist more and I had fun playing again. All I want to do is play.“

Mourinho insisted his handling of Mata had played a part in the Spaniard's impressive display in Bucharest.

“Juan played very well with the ball, as he always does,“ Mourinho said. “And very good without the ball, as he never did. He's coming closer to me. Very close. We played very well in this match for 90 minutes.

“We were very strong against Hull in the first half, and in the second half against Tottenham, but this is the match where people start from minute one very confidently. I put the players under a lot of pressure for this game, and they coped well with that pressure.“

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