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Chelsea Mour like old selves as Jose demands glory

Chelsea 2-0 FC Porto

By Andy Hampson

Jose Mourinho received a slice of luck and another reprieve as Chelsea advanced to the knockout stages of the Champions League as Group G winners with a 2-0 victory over his former club Porto.

The Blues, toiling domestically to put Mourinho's position in jeopardy, had some good fortune when Iker Casillas saved Diego Costa's shot and the ball ricocheted in off Ivan Marcano.

And when Willian, Chelsea's star player this season, doubled the lead seven minutes into the second half, Mourinho turned towards his son seated behind the dugout and punched the air in defiance.

Emotion was etched on his face and the home faithful sang the manager's name.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich applauded in his seat opposite in Stamford Bridge's West Stand, sharing in high fives with those around him.

"We are not lucky in the Premier League and luck is part of the game," Mourinho said.

"In the Premier League, it looks like everything goes against us. The players are feeling that and it's a bit of an attack to their confidence and self-esteem.

"Today was an important result for the players and the club. It's very important to go through to the next stage with the best teams in Europe.

"I think they were really committed to getting a result, for their pride and because they didn't want to go to the Europa League.

"It's the minimum we can give to our supporters, who are magnificent to us and give us in this moment more than we deserve, especially to myself. They are unbelievable in their support towards me and I feel really sorry that I can't give them more than what I'm giving."

Chelsea had avoided the ignominy and embarrassment of dropping into the Europa League. Mourinho's job was safe, for now.

Defeat and a Champions League exit could have forced Abramovich to act and wield the axe, but now the 2012 winners will play in the last 16 next spring.

Mourinho has work to do to remain in charge until then.

He was subject to the first managerial vote of confidence of Abramovich's 12-year ownership on October 5. Fortunes have barely improved since and a solution must be found for their domestic troubles.

The Blues, who suffered an eighth loss in 15 Barclays Premier League matches last Saturday at home to Bournemouth, could be in the bottom three by the time they play at leaders Leicester on Monday.

It was much better from Chelsea, but not always convincing.

Costa hardly justified his recall, spurning some good opportunities.

The striker was also booked for a petulant trip on Casillas and escaped punishment for kicking at Bruno Martins Indi when on the floor after being fouled by the Porto left-back.

Porto had never won in England in 15 previous matches, but had lost only once in 19 prior matches this season.

That defeat to Dynamo Kiev left the group wide open and Porto had to repeat their September win over Chelsea to go through.

Costa forced the opening goal when his effort was blocked, only to rebound off Marcano and over the line. The additional goal-line official awarded the goal.

Then Willians wrapped up victory for the home side.


fc porto0

CHELSEA: Courtois, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Matic, Willian, Oscar (Pedro 81), Hazard (Remy 90), Costa (Mikel 86).

Goals: Marcano (og) 12, Willian 52

Subs not used: Begovic, Fàbregas, Kenedy, Cahill.

FC PORTO: Casillas, M Pereira (Neves 57), Maicon, Marcano, Martins Indi, Layún, Herrera (Tello 71), H Pereira, Imbula (Aboubakar 56), Corona, Brahimi.

Subs not used: Helton, Gonçalves Varela, Goebel, Bueno.

Match rating: 7/10 Man of the match: Willian Ref: Cüneyt Çakir (Turkey)

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