John Obi Mikel has expressed delights about scoring the goal which landed Chelsea FC at the top of the Barclays Premier League table (on goals difference).
In the wake of two loses within the space of seven days, Jose Mourinho knew anything short of victory jeopardizes their chances of winning the ongoing campaign and the manager played to that effect and got away with the necessary three points in the hands of the traveling Fulham.
The prolific Mikel’s goal was to be desired by everyone for many reasons as there has not been any other outfield player who has made 185 Premier League appearances before getting his first goal- having taking 6 off-target shots in 22 league games.
Impressive, Obi has now scored his first Chelsea goal in 261 games and the ‘Blues’ were chanting “He scores when he wants!” at the Bridge last (Saturday) night after seeing most of their prodding of the Nigerian international to shoot every time he touches the ball ends up in a pass or off-target.
“It was good but I think today’s game was all about winning,” Mikel told Sky Sports after the match.
Mikel hooked home a bouncing ball in the 84th minute after John Terry had attempted to nod down at the far post, extending the game beyond Martin Jol’s men, following Oscar’s 52nd minute opener.
We’ve lost two games in a row and the most important thing was to win. My goal is just a bonus… John Obi Mikel on scoring his first Premier League goal
“I am pretty happy, it has been a long time. The guys have been saying you score for the national team and not for Chelsea,” Mikel added.
“It’s good for me to get a goal; my first Premier League goal.
“I have scored in the FA Cup a couple of times. I am very happy and I am very proud of the guys. We fought hard for this win.”
Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Fulham ended a run of four games without a win in all competitions.
A victory for United, Arsenal or Spurs on Sunday would see them leapfrog Chelsea to the top after five games.
Samuel Eto’O seem not to have gotten into his strides and was replaced with Fernando Torres late on in the second-half, but Mourinho, again, did not include Juan Mata in his 18-man squad.
Fulham played better in the first period and should have taken the lead when Daren Bent was played through on goal by Pajtim Kasami, only to place his side-footed shot in the hands of Petr Cech.
Chelsea dominated play, but lacked that clinical finish as Eto’O twice failed to make a decisive contact with Branislav Ivanovic’s crosses, while Eden Hazard was forced to taking speculative shots from outside the area.
Ivanovic almost opened scoring on the stroke of half-time but his low shot from the right was saved by Fulham keeper David Stockdale with his leg.
Oscar repaid Mourinho’s faith in him with the opening goal seven minutes after the interval when Stockdale failed to hold on to an effort from Andre Schurrle and Eto’O, before the Brazilian passed the ball inside the net from the six-yard box.
Fulham almost replied immediately when Kasami’s free-kick scaled over the wall to Steve Sidwell, whose far-post header was off-target.
From that very moment Chelsea smothered the life out of Fulham. Ramires was forced down by Fernando Amorebieta but referee Andres Marriner waved play on and Torres was later denied his first league goal of the season when Stockdale tipped his header over the bar.
From the resulting corner, Mikel got his first Chelsea goal after Terry had rose above every player in the area to pin down a header and the ball bounced up for the Nigerian to lash home for Chelsea.
Asked whether he would try to score more goals, Mikel said: “I do practice in training sometimes. I am sure the guys will give me a lot of stick when I get back into the dressing room.”