Chelsea crushed cross-town rivals Fulham 3-1 to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League thanks to a hattrick from Andre Schurrle.
Mourinho’s side struggled for fluency in the opening 45 minutes at Craven Cottage, with the fatigue of a trip to Istanbul in the Champions League on Wednesday a possible explanation, but they looked a team transformed in the second-half with Schurrle and Eden Hazard running rings around Fulham.
Speaking to the press after the match, Mourinho admitted not losing his temper with Chelsea at half-time paid dividends.
“I didn’t say a word at half-time, the first half was really bad for us. We said before they couldn’t have more desire than us.
“In the second half we changed the intensity and started winning individual battles, it was much better.
“The second half was one of the best performances of the season. We moved the ball around well. If I could’ve made 11 changes, I might have done, but I could only make three – so I did nothing.
“I decided not to speak at half-time because I would have needed more than 10 minutes, more than 20 minutes, but the players showed they are intelligent.
“This was a real game of two halves. The first was very poor and the second was brilliant, it was a great three points for us.”
Schurrle had only managed three goals in his first 19 Premier League appearance but today he doubled his tally with three composed finishes, two of them set up by Hazard. Mourinho was delighted with the German’s performance.
“Schurrle’s in a learning process in the PL but he’s cool, he’s a good finisher and that’s what I expect from him.”
However despite the four point gap over Arsenal, who went down 1-0 at Stoke, Mourinho wasn’t ready to describe his team as champions in waiting and felt that their biggest threat will be coming from the north-west of the country.
“We have four points more than Arsenal but if City win their two matches in hand they are top of the league.”
Mourinho also backed Fulham boss Felix Magath to turn the club’s fortunes around even though he is yet to taste success with the Cottagers since taking over from Rene Meulensteen. He added:
“I think Magath is the man for Fulham, he has experience and he has no fear. He has a lot to give to the players.”
Schurrle confirmed that Mourinho had said little during the break and had simply told his players to “get on with it.” However, the midfielder praised his team-mates for turning their performance around in order to claim all three points in West London.
“The most important thing was the points. With the three goals for me, it’s a perfect day. The manager said little at half-time, telling us to get on with it.
“This is the spirit of the team. We played very poorly in the first half and very well in the second. The players were a little tired after Wednesday but we showed our quality.”