Chelsea cruised to a comprehensive four nil win in Bucharest last night against hapless Steaua. The Blues were threatening the home goal from the first minute to the ninetieth. Andre Schurrle had a field day, on the left, running the Steaua right back ragged. Ramires was in imperious form and Mata again impressed, both offensively and, to his manager’s delight, defensively.
Chelsea began on the front foot and the only surprise was it took 19 minutes to break the deadlock. Schurrle skipped past his opposite number, Georgievski and squared the ball to Eto’o, who dinked the ball past a couple of defenders for the rampaging Ramires who found the net. There was no way back for the home side and Chelsea visibly relaxed in possession. Lampard and his Brazilian partner were now running the show, Cole was linking up well with Schurrle and Mata was everywhere.
Number two came at the best time for the Blues, on the stroke of halftime. Mata broke free in midfield and fed Eto’o who cut back inside the defender, to get a shot on target. The effort was well saved by Tatarusano but unfortunately, for him, the ball broke free to the covering Georgievski who converted in to his own net, under pressure from Ashley Cole.
Mourinho was a happy chappy again. The only downside, from a very professional first half display, was the loss of Torres to a knee injury. Word is, it is not too serious and he should be ok after his one match ban.
Chelsea began the second half in similar fashion to the first, winning possession quickly after conceding it. The confidence was growing and the handicap of a terrible surface was not as evident as in the first 45. The effervescent Blues went three up 10 minutes in to the second period. This goal was the pick of the bunch. Schurrle, watch Soccer AM showboating feature, beat his man with ease and broke free down the left. The German international ran towards the danger zone and squared to Oscar, who in turn fed Ramires, with the latter smashing home his second and Chelsea’s third. Schurrle ran to the touchline to embrace his manager, team morale to the fore.
To their credit Steaua pushed forward and were unlucky when Cech saved a lobbed effort before crashing in to the post. Mourinho looked worried, but unnecessarily so, as Cech was soon back between the sticks. Chelsea again pressed and were unlucky when both Mata and Oscar struck the woodwork. The travelling fans did not have too long to wait for the fourth goal. Super Frank capped a solid performance with a stoppage time effort that went in off the upright.
All in all, a very professional and solid display, albeit against suicidal defending. The thing that will please Mourinho most is that Chelsea won 95% of their tackles, an extraordinary statistic. Next up, in the Champions League, is a double header against group leaders, Schalke. Four points from six will see Chelsea back in control and on their way to the next stage.