Jose Mourinho praised the longevity of John Terry after the Chelsea captain's goal breached the West Ham defence to set up a 2-0 win for the Premier League leaders at Stamford Bridge.
The Hammers, who began the day in fourth place, have been transformed since being criticised by Mourinho for playing "football from the 19th century" last season and joked on Twitter they had arrived at Stamford Bridge by horse and cart.
PIC: The West Ham United team coach (and horse) has arrived at @chelseafc for today's game #19thcenturyfootball pic.twitter.com/qC9FbEvsQX
- West Ham United FC (@whufc_official) December 26, 2014
Yet Sam Allardyce's men sat back and were overrun by Chelsea, who broke the deadlock through Terry's first-half tap-in. It was his second goal in two games and a ninth win from nine home games was completed by Diego Costa's 13th of the season.
"He always had that [goal-scoring ability]," Mourinho, who made Terry captain during his first spell, said. "He's full of confidence. I see my John of 2004, 05, 06. I see him. I don't see any difference.
"I only see a difference when I see his twin [daughters] when they go to the training ground because they were born in that period and now they are running and kicking balls.
"In him there is no difference. He's playing so good."
Mourinho was frustrated by his side's failure to beat West Ham last season, but the Blues have much more in their armoury this term.
"We are a much better team when we have the ball," Mourinho added. "Last year we were very strong defensively, very well organised, but a bit lacking in creativity when we had the ball.
"The challenge this season was to bring that creativity, that dynamism, without losing the good defensive qualities of the team.
"At the beginning of the season there was a little bit of conflict between these two ideas. It was difficult to have a clean sheet. "In this moment we have a good balance."
Chelsea are also hard-working. Instead of training twice on Saturday, the players opted to train immediately after the Hammers victory to prepare for Sunday's trip to Southampton. Some will have a recovery session, others a more strenuous workout.
Mourinho said: "I had two training sessions for tomorrow, but they were crying so much in the dressing room I decided to make a change. They are training now."