Mourinho’s expertise in progressing through the quarter-finals stages of the European Champions League withstood the test of faith, following another nervy end to a crunch tie against Paris St-Germain.
Senegalese striker Demba Ba sealed a 2-0 win for Chelsea, sending the Stamford Bridge crowd into wild jubilation with scores settled a 3-3 at full-time and the ‘Blues’ progressing on an Eden Hazard’s away goal in the 3-1 loss in Paris.
German forward Andre Schurrle, who came on as an early substitute for the injured Hazard, scored his first goal in Europe as Chelsea halved a two goal deficit by one but Mourinho and his men had to wait for Ba’s scrambled late goal to progress to the semi-finals.
“You always believe. It is part of our nature,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “You know how football is. Nobody was expecting the third goal in Paris. Why not us to score tonight?”
It all looked to be heading to the end for Chelsea after Schurrle and Oscar were both denied by the woodwork, and were even lucky not to have been pegged back by an Edinson Cavani’s great scoring chance minutes before the decisive goal.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech, who was the scape-goat of the first leg loss, redeemed himself with a superb save from Marquinhos in stoppage time to prevent further dramas in Chelsea’s bid for another European trophy this season.
“I think we did enough at beginning of the second-half to score before we did,” Mourinho added. “The contradiction of what they (PSG) are and what they wanted to do. In the second-half it was pure ball possession. But it was difficult for us to penetrate.
“We did it in training yesterday, with three different systems, all of which we used. The players knew what they had to do. Demba Ba made a crucial finish for us.
“It was very much deserved that the team that tried to defend was punished. The team that played with their heart deserved to go through.”
Mourinho now hopes to be third time lucky in the semi-finals stage of the competition with Chelsea, after his previous two appearances were halted by Liverpool.
Looking ahead of Fridiay’s semi-final draw (11:00 AM), the Portuguese boss expects another daunting challenge but wants the player to keep “enjoying” every game as it comes.
“If the quarter-finals had eight fantastic teams, imagine the four that are going to reach the semis. A big opponent is waiting for us but it doesn’t matter who, they know we are a team with a special spirit, even if we are not at the maximum of our potential because Matic and Salah cannot play and now Ivanovic is suspended. We are going to enjoy it, the same way I told the players we have to enjoy this game,” he told the club’s official website.