Jose Mourinho praises Branislav Ivanovic.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho praised his defender after the Serbian helped the Blues secure three points at Villa Park.

Eden Hazard broke the deadlock in the eighth minute against Aston Villa, after finishing off an assist by Willian.

The home-side equalised when Jores Okore's header found the back of the net three minutes into the second half but, Ivanovic increased the deficit, securing Jose Mourinho's first win at Villa Park.

The west London club are seven points above defending champions Manchester City - who were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Hull - and Mourinho had nothing but praise for his right-back after the win.

"He came immediately after I left and after that he made a fantastic contribution for this club. He is a competitive animal with a big heart,” he said.

"What really matters more is what we as a club feel for him and people like John (Terry) and (Gary) Cahill, guys that without them, you cannot do anything.

“A team is an artist like (Eden) Hazard, it is a defender like Branislav. The mix and combination of talent makes a team.

"Every striker in the world would be proud to score that magnificent goal, it is an amazing goal.

“When he scores that goal and it is three or four nil it is a different feeling. He is a great guy, what he is doing for us is unbelievable."

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