Mourinho: We had to stop these two Tottenham stars to win

Jose Mourinho Chelsea

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho picked out Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason as the players his side needed to stop.

Jose Mourinho said Chelsea's tactics focused on stopping Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb exerting their usual influence on games in the Capital One Cup final.

The Chelsea boss had to reconfigure his midfield with Nemanja Matic out, and picked Kurt Zouma to shield the defence.

He explained that Zouma's ultra-defensive approach allowed Cesc Fabregas and Ramires more freedom, and to pressure the Tottenham duo more.

Mourinho told Chelsea's website: "If we played without Zouma I would have needed to play Fabregas and Ramires in a position to keep the stability for the team and he wouldn’t have been there. 

"It wasn’t cautious. When you are going from the first minute to reach Mason and Bentaleb in their half, so they cannot build from the back, it’s not cautious."

Bentaleb managed 79 touches and Mason 61, both above their league per game season averages this season, but while they still saw plenty of the ball, they struggled to have a positive influence.

Neither created a single goalscoring opportunity, and despite attempting four shots between them, not one was on target.

Both players have been key players for Spurs this season, contributing valuably over the course of the campaign, and Mourinho's dedication to devoting his team's efforts to stopping them playing their usual game says a lot about how highly they are rated.

With Mourinho's comments about his change of tact for Fabregas and Ramires, Spurs fans will only be able to wonder whether they would have had more luck if Matic actually played, as he did at White Hart Lane earlier this year.

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