Chelsea FC's players believe they have rediscovered themselves and their club's soul in the dramatic victory at Valencia CF which gave the Avram Grant reign a hefty push in the right direction.
It was a UEFA Champions League encounter that looked like going only one way as the Spanish club took an early lead and showed an ability to stretch their visitors at will. However, just as in the epic quarter-final victory at the Mestalla last season, Chelsea struck back to dispel the gloom that followed their Matchday 1 home draw with Rosenborg BK and the subsequent departure of coach José Mourinho.
Joe Cole, whose presence helped force Emiliano Moretti to concede the own goal that cancelled out David Villa's early strike, also laid on Didier Drogba's winner with a sublime forward pass, and described it as a "massive result". "It just shows what Chelsea are all about, fighting for each other," he said. "It was a great performance and that's the standard we must look to follow for the rest of the season."
The strength of Chelsea's renowned team spirit has been questioned in the aftermath of Mourinho's departure but if they match the determination and heart displayed by John Terry then their prospects look rosy again. The Chelsea captain played in a protective mask after surgery for a cheekbone fracture and while he looked unsure at times, his participation ensured that none of his team-mates could afford to shirk their own responsibilities.
'A great friend'
Terry made light of his injury and the inconvenience of the mask. "It was good, no trouble at all," he said. "I have been training with it so I am used to it." He added that it was vital Chelsea put the uncertainty of the past two weeks behind them, saying: "It's been difficult for the club and the fans. We've lost a great friend and a great manager. We needed to pick ourselves up and move on and after this performance we have the perfect opportunity to do that."
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