Jose Mourinho has got this blues side purring. The first 45 minutes on Saturday was some of the best football seen at Stamford bridge for many a year. The movement, speed of pass, determination and tenacity was from a different dimension. I have been loathe to say it but now I truly believe this team will win the league at a canter. Contrary to a certain Phillip Neville’s belief this team do not have a weakness. Fabregas was outstanding. He was quoted after the match saying ‘ the first 45 minutes was some of the most enjoyable football that I have ever been involved in’. High praise indeed considering the Arsenal, Barcelona and Spanish teams he has played in. The excellent Carson, in goal for the visitors, stated ‘ they play fantastic football, some of the best I have faced, in my career!’.
Mourinho is a brilliant man manager. He even had the audacity to complain about the atmosphere during the QPR victory. He was being Jose! A warning across the bows for everyone, he will not accept complacency, even from the home support! He was rewarded with a more vociferous and continued performance from the stands.
Chelsea started on the front foot and could have been one up in minutes but for the intervention of Scott Carson. The home crowd could bay blood and Chelsea drove forward using the full width of the pitch. Hazard, Oscar and Willian were frightening, Matic and Fabregas in total control and Diego Costa a constant menace up front. It was no surprise when the Blues took the lead after Oscar’s floated cross was chested down and volleyed home by the home favourite Diego Costa. There was a hint of offside but replays showed the linesman was correct in awarding a goal. Hazard was then gifted a cheap second when the visitors switched off from a home corner and he easily beat Carson from 5 yards out.
The contest was effectively over within the half hour when Claudio Yacob’s two-footed lunge was deemed reckless and referee Lee Mason had no hesitation in showing a straight red card. It was cruise control from then on.
Chelsea never reached the dizzy heights of the first half, after the break. There were chances but a combination of luck, Carson’s fine display and not so clinical finishing meant that West Brom held on to avoid a total humiliation. It is only a matter of time before someone gets a real hammering from Chelsea.
Chelsea move on and face a tricky away tie at Schalke on Tuesday. Former blues man Di Matteo will have his charges up for the battle but Chelsea should have too much and will qualify for the Champions League knockout phases with ease.
A trip to Sunderland is next up and surely another 3 points in the bag. Realistically only Manchester City are anywhere near Chelsea this year but there defensive frailties will see them brushed aside.