Mourinho's five best away days
Chelsea draw 2-2 with Arsenal at Highbury (December 12, 2004)
Though Jose Mourinho had beaten Manchester United in his first competitive game as Chelsea manager the first true test of his new, expensively assembled, side’s championship credentials came at Highbury against Arsenal’s recently wounded Invincibles.
The Gunners had lost their 49-game unbeaten run six weeks previously at Old Trafford but were eager to reassert their authority against the cocky upstarts from west London and Thierry Henry made Arsenal’s intentions clear with a goal after 90 seconds.
Previous Chelsea sides would’ve crumbled at a venue which held few positive memories. Much of Mourinho’s early work centred on shedding Chelsea of the inferiority complex they had suffered from at the hands of their London rivals, empowering the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard, filling them, and by proxy their team-mates, with the confidence to suggest they belonged at the top table.
Terry’s emphatic header, capitalising on Arsenal’s weakness at set-pieces, drew his side level and although Henry restored the lead with a quickly taken free-kick that Mourinho said afterwards left him “more than unhappy - unhappy is a nice word” Eidur Gudjohnson bundled home following another set-piece early in the second half to earn Chelsea a point.
The Blues maintained a five-point advantage at the top and Lampard exited the field raising one finger at the travelling support to signify his team’s position in the league table. They did not lose again in the league all season and had the title wrapped up by the last week in April.