DROGBA: SUNDAY BEST
What a difference a week makes. Last Saturday at Wigan, Didier Drogba was labelling it the worst performance since he had been at Chelsea. Now he embarks on international duty on top of the league and happy.
It was more as a rampaging wide man than a centre-forward that the Ivorian made a big difference against Liverpool, crossing from the left for Nicolas Anelka's opener and then leaving Jamie Carragher and Fabio Aurelio trailing to set-up Florent Malouda for the second.
That consigned the Merseysiders to their second defeat in six days and with it being Manchester United's turn to struggle on a Saturday, doing what Chelsea haven't this season in dropping home points, now we have a two-point lead.
'Last season we were not champions because we lost so many points at home, and especially against the big teams,' noted Drogba as he began his reflections on Sunday's Stamford Bridge triumph. 'So it is good to start the battles against the top teams this season and win it.
'After the defeat at Wigan it was very important to see a reaction and all the players wanted to show that it was just one mistake. We still had the frustration today and after the first goal we scored I think we were playing better.'
As well as the two goals there was a clean sheet - credit to some exemplary defending and an unflappable Hilario behind them.
'We have seen Hilario playing before and he is not our second goalkeeper for nothing, commended Drogba. 'He has got quality and we are very confident when he is playing so for us it was normal for him to do this kind of game.'
Though the final score looks comfortable, and Liverpool were restricted in chances with two of their best coming in the final 10 minutes, the game was as finely balanced as many were anticipating beforehand. However in what was built up as Drogba v. Torres, there was no doubting who came out on top in that contest.
'It was a difficult game as always but tactically it was a very good game for both teams,' Drogba said.
'It is always a difficult game for me when I play against players like Carragher and Skrtel, and Liverpool in general, and to be part of the goals is good for me.
'I always say it is not the most important thing to score goals. Of course I would love to score every time I play but this game we won and you see smiles on all the faces.
'You could see at the end of the game that we were really happy and the spirit is fantastic. We are going to go away with the national teams now knowing we are top of the league and that is very important.'
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