After Chelsea edged Hull City 2-3 to maintain a clear title lead, the action pauses.

Officially, Jose Mourinho dislikes international breaks, although this time, deep down, he’s rather pleased.

At the KC stadium, wearing his rabbit-in-the-headlights look, he insisted he’d rather play every week.

But Diego Costa asked to be substituted after 75 minutes, and left the pitch gingerly feeling his left hamstring.

A fortnight’s rest may be enough to regain full fitness.

The good news is that Loic Remy bounded on and scored Chelsea’s winner with his first touch. Mourinho admits to guilty feelings about Remy.

“Probably he deserves more play than I give him,” he said.

“I think I owe him something; every time he plays he gives us a lot, and he never complains.”

When Stoke visit the Bridge on April 4, Remy will start if there is any doubt over Costa.

Meanwhile, Mourinho is still smarting at condemnation from ex-Liverpool heroes, now pundits, Graeme Souness and Jamie Carragher of Chelsea’s “gamesmanship”.

Their attitude stems from the 1970s and 1980s, when Liverpool were the biggest of a big five that included Manchester United, Spurs, Everton and Arsenal.

They had the biggest crowds, trophy cabinets and clout, and they effectively created the Premier League in 1992.

A decade later, the big five were Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Leeds, and today there’s really just a big four: Chelsea, United, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Spot the notable absentee.

For all their European success, the closest Liverpool have come to a Premier League title was last year, when their challenge was derailed by Chelsea.

Big clubs are now defined by stock market value, Far East shirt sales and world brand recognition.

Liverpool fans bang on about class and history, but half the Kop were in nappies when Anfield last celebrated the domestic title. Which may explain a certain bitterness towards a club that has knocked them off their perch.