Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was ecstatic after his side beat Everton late on to maintain their seven-point lead at the top.

The game was heading to a stalemate when Willian’s low drive took a deflection and found the back of the net. Tim Howard was powerless to stop the shot in the 90th minute.

Earlier, Everton were reduced to 10-men after Gareth Barry was sent off for his second yellow of the game for a foul on Willian. Chelsea had put the ball in the back of the net in the 86th minute only for the linesman to raise his flag and disallow the goal. As it turned out, the decision was a good one as Branislav Ivanovic was in an offside position.

Chelsea were the dominant side and created more than Everton, but the Toffees put in a resolute defensive display for almost the whole game. Mourinho said that late wins are always a feature of Champions and also lauded Everton for their display, “I dona t remember a team that were champions without a couple of victories in the last minute, in my case for sure. Every time Ia ve won a league title I had a couple of matches where I won in the last minute. That was the first time for us this season.

“It was a very difficult match, it was a different Everton and when I say that I mean it as a compliment. They played with a low block and defended very well. They gave us the ball and used Lukaku to attack the spaces. They were a very difficult opponent and Ia m so happy with the three points.”

He also praised Petr Cech for his performance, “He touched the ball twice, he was a spectator, but in the first half it was a very good save and in the second half a super save. Thata s what we need, wea ve had it with Courtois and now Petr. Ita s so important for a goalkeeper to make a difference.a

Gareth Barry was sent off late on and Mourinho said hat the midfielder could have been sent off even earlier, “Barry should have been sent off in the first half because he had a yellow card and he pulled Hazard when he went to attack the last defender, so the second yellow card should have been given there.”

The Chelsea boss did not fault the referee’s performance but admitted that his side should have had a penalty after Steven Naismith handled the ball, “I think it was a clear penalty but the referee had a fantastic performance, a very difficult performance because when there is one team defending in the box, recovering the ball and playing long to Lukaku, thata s difficult for a referee because he has to be focused on one box and then suddenly, one long ball, and the ball is faster than the referee.

“He had a very stable performance and the official that disallowed our goal [for offside] made a fantastic decision.”