Greedy Scolari wants more victories at home
Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has highlighted his side's form at Stamford Bridge as one of the keys to the Premier League title race, insisting they cannot afford to drop points.
Although they have not been beaten in their last 86 home league matches, seven draws on their own turf last season helped hand the title to Manchester United.
One of those draws came against Aston Villa. But Chelsea never looked like dropping points against them yesterday, Joe Cole and Nicolas Anelka grabbing the goals in a 2-0 win.
After sharing the points with Tottenham and United, it was Chelsea's first league win at home since the opening weekend of the season.
"We need to win more games at home,'' said Scolari. "We have played four games and won two of them; we need more, because we remember last season.
"I wasn't here but I know about this. There were many, many draws ... and the final result was being two points behind Manchester United.''
Cole opened the scoring when he lashed in at the near post but he then limped off with a foot injury and was left out of Fabio Capello's England squad.
John Terry and Ashley Cole, who both had back niggles, came through unscathed - while Deco and Alex could be available after the international break, and Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho will be on the road to recovery.
Scolari was delighted with the prospect of being top of the table over the international break, his players returning - and also three days off to finally sight see in London with his family.
"I will spend three days with my family,'' he said. "I have only spent one day in London, so I will do something with my wife. I don't want to talk about football!
"I told that to the players - to win and give me three days of thinking about nothing.''
Scolari spoke of his admiration for Martin O'Neill before the match.
The Villa boss feels Scolari is putting his own stamp on the football at Stamford Bridge.
"He is a brilliant manager,'' said O'Neill. "He's proved it; he won the World Cup with a side whose expectations were incredibly high - and that is hard to do.
"He doesn't have to prove anything. He's enjoying himself. He's inherited a very good side and put his stamp on it - which is remarkable. They were brilliant, which is a credit to him and the players.''
Aside from the scoreline, O'Neill noticed significant differences from Chelsea's performances against Villa last season.
"Ashley Cole is back probably playing to his best again,'' he said. "He has licence to go forward, safe in the knowledge that when it is played square to midfield they will put him in.
"Bosingwa has given them a new dimension, which has helped. But the great stalwarts of the last few years are still brilliant.''