Eden Hazard’s first-half goal and stand-out performance proved to be the difference between the sides and Mourinho is adamant he is feeling unnecessary pressure thanks to his misfiring forwards.
The Portuguese felt aggrieved for not being awarded a penalty after he felt Hazard was fouled in the box and Swansea goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel also kept The Special One on the edge of his seat.
“They kill me,” Mourinho said about his hesitant players. “Every game I am tired in the end.
“My feeling is that, at half-time, we all should be relaxed with a comfortable result. And we weren’t. And the first thing that happens in the second half was probably the biggest chance of the game. And, after that, we had a clear penalty. Clear penalty. Big.
“After that, the goalkeeper made another fantastic save from (Frank) Lampard’s shot, because the ball was going in the corner with a deflection.
“If you add up all these things, we go home with a comfortable result and I can be relaxed in the technical area and on the bench.
“But time goes on, we don’t score a second goal, and the opponent believes and risks a bit more, puts on a second striker, and you are in a bit of trouble.
“You don’t score, you finish feeling you are going to concede. But the boys worked hard and had control of the game. A deserved victory. An important victory.
“Today I can say the biggest reason for the lack of goals was their goalkeeper because he made three or four big saves. Today I’m saying their goalkeeper played very well.”
Hazard was Chelsea’s spark, deployed on the left wing but given licence to roam into central areas and encouraged to run in beyond Samuel Eto’o who Mourinho chose to lead the line.
On Monday at the Emirates, Arsenal fans accused Chelsea of being boring — and on their own turf on St Stephen’s Day they did their best to shake off the tag.
When Ashley Williams was lured out of the heart of the Swansea defence, Ramires ran in to the vacant space and took aim at goal yet his accurate but feeble effort was clasped by Gerhard Tremmel in the visitors’ goal.
That sparked a busy period for the Welsh side’s keeper; he was called into action to tip a bouncing John Terry volley over the bar and seconds after that he was close to having to retrieve the ball from his net.
A deep Juan Mata cross found Terry at the back post and the Chelsea captain somehow managed to direct the ball back across the gaping Swansea goal where John Obi Mikel was poised to score a rare goal, only for a last-ditch clearance to delay the home side’s celebrations — temporarily.
Moments before the half-hour mark Chelsea took the lead. Hazard picked the ball up on the left flank from Cole and made his way towards goal. And instead of pressuring Hazard, Angel Rangel appeared to shepherd him in to his own penalty box where he unleashed a hopeful shot that squirmed under Tremmel after Williams had failed to block the shot and instead impeded his goalkeeper’s view. It was Hazard’s seventh Premier League goal of the season and ensures he is the club’s top goalscorer during the dry spell that Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Eto’o find themselves enduring.
Chelsea should have doubled their lead immediately after the restart through the misfiring Eto’o.
With Mourinho facing a bounty of questions about the lack of goals his strikers are scoring, the Cameroonian was given the perfect chance to silence his critics after he was teed up by a perfect Mata cross only to fire an effort from point-blank range on to the palms of Tremmel.
Hazard’s goal and industrious performance marked a major turnaround for the mercurial talent after he was dropped for the Champions League match against Schalke at the start of November after missing a training session.
And Mourinho, in true maverick style revealed: “He never missed a training session after that.”
Not a performance they’ll cherish for too long, but a result that leaves them still very much in the hunt.
CHELSEA: Cech 6, Ivanovic 7, Luiz 7, Terry 7, Cole 6, Ramires 6, Mikel 5, Mata 6 (Schurrle 72, 5), Oscar 5 (Lampard 67, 6), Hazard 8 (Willian 82, 5), Eto’o 5.
SWANSEA: Tremmel 7, Taylor 6, Amat 6, Williams 6, Rangel 7, Routledge 6, Canas 6 (De Guzman 61, 5), Shelvey 5, Britton 6, Pozuelo 6 (Hernandez 45, 5), Vazquez 6,(Bony 76, 5)
Referee: Michael Jones.