Chelsea star Michael Essien has the backing of manager Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has backed Chelsea star Michael Essien after the Ghanaian's poor display against Southampton on Sunday.
Essien was at fault for the Saints' opening goal. The Ghana international's short back-pass was snapped up by Jay Rodriguez, who fired Southampton into the lead after just 13 seconds.
Chelsea fought back with a superb second-half performance to win the match 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, but Essien was withdrawn at the interval in favour of striker Demba Ba.
Mourinho has lent his support to Essien though, who was making his first start of the Premier League season.
"Everybody makes mistakes", Mourinho told reporters. "Strikers they miss goals, goalkeepers make mistakes and midfielders lose the ball, especially when they try to play, and he tried to play.
"He had a very normal performance. He played the same way Mikel plays or when Luiz plays in midfield.
"He played his part in the stability of the team but one yellow card for 45 minutes is a long time. I had to take one [Essien or Ramires] off. But he's my man, he's a Chelsea man and it's no problem."
Goals from Gary Cahill, John Terry and substitute Ba turned the game around, and the win moves Chelsea to within four points of league leaders Arsenal.
Next up for Mourinho's men is a trip to the north east to face Sunderland, followed by a visit to Stoke City on December 7 as Mourinho looks to make up lost ground on the Gunners.