Chelsea played like champions but not matching 2005 team, says Gary Neville



Manchester United legend Gary Neville says Chelsea have some work to do to get to the levels of Jose Mourinho’s 2005 title-winning team.

The Blues ran out 1-0 winners over Louis van Gaal's side at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Eden Hazard scored the winning goal in the first half and it was enough to seal the win, as they edged closer to their first Premier League title since 2010.

However, former United captain Neville gave his take on Chelsea's current team.

“I think Chelsea will have to improve again, because I think the others will catch them up,” he told Sky Sports.


“I don’t think it’s a Chelsea team like the first Chelsea team in 2005 that Mourinho had, but it’s a very good team that needs to improve to get to that next level.

“They were always so tough to play against, when you think of Ricardo Carvalho and William Gallas, John Terry, Michael Essien in midfield, Frank Lampard and Claude Makalele.

“There’s a little bit of that coming back with Nemanja Matic and obviously the two centre-backs, Gary Cahill and Terry. The full-backs are very good defensively, the goalkeeper’s excellent as Petr Cech was first time round for Jose Mourinho.

“There are a lot of similarities – Arjen Robben is Hazard, Diego Costa is Didier Drogba first time round – there are some similarities building in this Chelsea team.

“It was a resolute performance from Chelsea,” he added.

“It was a team that knew what they needed to do during the game. They recognised that they probably couldn’t take Manchester United on punch for punch at football in passing terms, but they had the power, the strength, the determination and the physicality.


“They played like champions. There are times over the years where I’ve been part of championship-winning teams and it had to be ugly.

“Mourinho has no problem going out there and destroying games. You saw that with his substitutions in the end – he’s shameless in that sense, and why shouldn’t he be?

“You always felt the jab of Chelsea was keeping United at arm’s length, and that’s what the game was – United just couldn’t get past the jab.”

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