John Terry
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and captain John Terry after winning the Capital One League Cup on 1 March Getty

John Terry believes that Louis van Gaal's decision to play Rooney in the midfield backfired for Manchester United and helped Chelsea keep a tight lid on their attacking threat.

Radamel Falcao was given the opportunity to lead the attack but the Colombian failed to make a mark for himself as he gave the ball away in the middle of the park which led to Chelsea scoring. He was also denied by the post late in the second half having hoodwinked Thibaut Courtois, who jumped the wrong way.

The loss means that United are currently 11 points behind Chelsea in the race for the title, but also have a game in hand. However, Terry believes that the contest would have been much closer if Van Gaal had kept Rooney in his original position and given someone else the responsibility to marshal midfield chores.

"I was quite relieved to see him in midfield. Rooney is a world class player and it kind of suited us (that he played there)," Terry said.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho taunted United followers by stating that he had their best players in his pocket. The Blues played as a cohesive unit, not allowing the Red Devils any room in the middle of the park nor in the penalty box, blocking any shots coming on goal.

United, without Michael Carrick, who was unavailable due to injury, failed to assert themselves in the midfield leading to a lack of chances for their forwards.

"It was difficult, but less than you think. Control their direct football to Marouane Fellaini and control the wingers from making crosses on the inside foot," Mourinho said.

"When we know Wayne Rooney plays in midfield, we control his progression into the box. Control set-pieces and don't give away direct free-kicks as they have three specialists. Wait for a mistake and score a goal. We were able to make their important players disappear. Nobody saw them. They were in our pockets," he added.