Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insisted he was satisfied with his side’s 1-0 victory against Steaua Bucuresti, despite the action at Stamford Bridge hardly setting pulses racing.
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The Blues’ 1-0 victory secured top spot in Group E, but it was far from a convincing performance in a game that saw a number of back-up players given some game time.
Reserve keeper Mark Schwarzer, defender David Luiz and striker Demba Ba were among those drafted into the line-up for a game that Chelsea only needed a point from to progress to the last 16, with their passage rarely in doubt against their Romanian opponents.
A 10th-minute goal from Ba was enough for Chelsea to win and progress as winners, yet Mourinho’s men continue to show signs of frailty.
“Normally we have to score more goals and win comfortably, give more emotions for the supporters, but we had the game always under control since the first minute,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “Now we forget the Champions League until 2014.
“We had the chances, we had the corners, we had the dominance and pressed very well when we lost the ball. We were always very comfortable in the game, but the second goal didn’t arrive and when the second goal doesn’t arrive the opponents are then always alive, fighting for a shock result.
“We played a few too many long balls and we don’t need that. Every time we played short and fast finding Eden [Hazard], Willian and Oscar, we had creation, speed and intensity, but we still have a few things from the past and we don’t have enough patience sometimes and we decide for the long ball.”
Chelsea skipper John Terry accepted there was room for improvement, but he highlighted the importance of winning the group and avoiding possible meetings with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the last-16.
“We are still improving, but we can get better for sure,” Terry said. “We looked at the results last night and the teams that came first and second and it was important for us to top the group. There are some tough teams who have won their groups and thankfully we have come tonight and topped ours.
“We have scored a couple of early goals in the last couple of games and not kicked on and killed off the game. That is something we need to work on. It is important that we will the game off early because all through the game they were one goal away from upsetting us.
“We are through, that is the main thing. We look forward to the draw on Monday.”