Jose Mourinho will not compare his current Chelsea side to that of his first reign at Stamford Bridge because they have yet to back up their ability with trophies.
The Portuguese saw his side thrash Schalke 5-0 in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday night to progress into the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
Not only did the result equal Chelsea’s best-ever away win in the competition, it also saw Mourinho put one over on Schalke coach Roberto Di Matteo, who lifted the European Cup during his short tenure at Stamford Bridge.
Skipper John Terry opened the scoring for the visitors inside two minutes, with Willian doubling their lead before a Jan Kirchhoff own goal sealed the points before half-time.
Didier Drogba, the man whose penalty kick sealed the trophy for Di Matteo’s side in Munich in 2012, came off the bench to score the fourth and set up a fifth for Ramires with Mourinho happy following the display.
But he stopped short of comparing his squad to the teams he built during his first spell in west London as those sides delivered titles and cup successes along the way.
”In this moment, this team is completely different to my team from 2004-08,“ he said.
”Completely different. Different players. Different profile. So we play a different football. As I was saying, this team, to be so good or better than other Chelsea teams? This team needs to win.
”At this moment: zero titles. We have to transform the quality of our game into results, which we are getting now. But we have to try and win things so this team goes down in Chelsea’s history as a brilliant team who won something.”
Mourinho did go as far as to say he now has a side of ’beauty’ – with no-one quite as beautiful to watch as Cesc Fabregas, who was involved in four of the five goals at the Veltins Arena.
”I don’t remember Chelsea playing in this way away from home,” Mourinho said.
”Obviously, great victories away from home with me, with Roberto...even with other managers.
”But this was very impressive. Very complete...the reality is any team that played against us would feel it was very difficult. The players played a fantastic match.
”The players are very serious. Everything they do with big focus and ambition, but at the same time with this component, which is quite something new at Chelsea: this happiness, this flair, this beauty.
”The way they are doing things, we are very happy. We are having good results and playing really, really well at this moment.”
For his part, Di Matteo insisted ahead of the game that he would not go into the fixture with any sort of sentimentality.
The Italian was sacked by Roman Abramovich just six months after delivering the club’s maiden European Cup but is now looking to rebuild his reputation in Germany.
And he admitted his side’s humbling on Tuesday night was the most difficult loss to swallow in his managerial career to date.
“Yes,” he said when asked if the defeat was the most painful he had suffered.
“It is certainly a disappointing night for us in terms of the scoreline, and also the way we played.
“But we did play against a really great team. If you concede too much space and time to those players, they’ll exploit that.”