Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas accepts his side will face a “different kind of challenge altogether” when domestic action resumes at Manchester United on Sunday after labouring to a 2-0 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen.
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With one eye on the trip to Old Trafford, Villas-Boas rested captain John Terry completely and left Frank Lampard on the bench.
Chelsea ambled through much of the match, with England Under-21 forward Daniel Sturridge the main livewire before Brazil defender David Luiz scored on 67 minutes and Juan Mata secured a more flattering final scoreline with a second goal in stoppage time.
While Villas-Boas may have been happy enough with the final result, he knows things are about to go to a whole new level this weekend.
“We face United perhaps in their most tremendous moment of motivation and flair and style,” said Villas-Boas, who feels Didier Drogba may need more time to recover from a head injury with the striker only set to resume training with the squad at the end of the week.
“A team that has made its impact at the beginning of the Premier League is different from last year, but I think it provokes in us a good challenge.
“Motivation will be the key factor in the game, and the capacity of people to transcend themselves and take the game through and come back from Old Trafford with a win. We will go there to try to win it. Let’s see how it happens. It’s going to be a very, very good early-season game for the Premier League.”
As for what was hardly a convincing display against an organised, but not dominating Bundesliga side, Villas-Boas felt it was a case of job done.
He said: “We had numerous chances throughout the game and deserved to win.
“An international week has gone by, then we had Sunderland after two days and then, after another two days, a Champions League win against a very tough team. But I am pleased, particularly with good passing and fluency in the game.”