Chelsea wins League Cup, EPL title hopes helped by City loss
LONDON (AP) — The longest title drought of Jose Mourinho’s managerial career ended, and the prospects of League Cup glory being followed by Premier League glory also improved on Sunday.
Before Premier League leader Chelsea beat Tottenham 2-0 in the first final of the English season, second-place Manchester City lost 2-1 at Liverpool.
So Chelsea’s players paraded the cup at Wembley Stadium knowing that, in the quest for the biggest domestic prize, Chelsea has a five-point lead with a game in hand.
“It’s very important for me I had the same feelings as my first final I don’t know how many years ago,” Mourinho said. “It’s important for me to feel a kid at 52 years old.”
Mourinho’s first triumph since winning the 2012 Spanish title with Real Madrid, and ensured his second season back at Chelsea will not end trophyless like his first. This was
“For the club it’s one more cup,” Mourinho said. “But it’s the first one of a new team.”
It was the oldest player in the starting lineup, though, who scored the opening goal at Wembley Stadium: John Terry.
With the aid of a ricochet off Tottenham defender Eric Dier, the 34-year-old captain netted from close range past Hugo Lloris just before half time. Diego Costa’s attempted shot then span into the net off Kyle Walker’s outstretched leg in the 56th minute.
“Spurs made us be humble and think in this game strategically to win this final,” said Mourinho, who won five trophies in his 2004-07 spell as Chelsea manager — starting with the League Cup.
In a bid to keep his team focused, Mourinho tried to prevent them knowing the score of Man City’s lunchtime Premier League game at Liverpool. It didn’t work.
“I wanted complete silence, I didn’t want reactions to that (result) and were successful on that,” Mourinho said.
“But one member of my staff jumped on the bus (to Wembley). I want to kill the guy. The member of my staff broke the rule.”
It was with good reason, given the advantage Chelsea has in the Premier League title hunt with 12 games to go.
What was being celebrated was Philippe Coutinho’s Anfield winner. The Brazilian playmaker capped his latest impressive display for Liverpool by curling in a 25-meter shot in the 75th minute.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson had whipped in a near-identical strike to give the hosts an 11th-minute lead. Although Edin Dzeko equalized after a slick move, defending champion City was sluggish.
Liverpool, which was second behind City in the title race last season, has recovered from its poor start to this campaign to sit only two points behind the Champions League places.
Arsenal finished the weekend still in third place, a point ahead of Manchester United, after beating Everton 2-0.
Olivier Giroud, who missed several chances in a 3-1 Champions League loss to Monaco on Wednesday, rediscovered his scoring touch at the Emirates Stadium, volleying in Mesut Ozil’s corner in the 39th.
Tomas Rosicky’s deflected shot in the 89th completed a seventh win in eight league games.