It looks as though the wheels are finally beginning to turn for the Blues. Perhaps, their recent improved form is a holiday present come early for Mourinho and his men. However, I would suggest that the West Londoner’s current form has come as a result of returning to their true style of play.
Chelsea have looked much improved over their last three matches. They picked up all three points against Norwich in the Premier League, and at Maccabi Tel-Aviv midweek. Then, they went on to draw 0-0 at White Hart Lane on Sunday against an in-form Tottenham.
The most important aspect of the last three results is Chelsea’s goal tally, particularly their goals allowed. That number would in fact be 0. The Blues have managed to keep a shutout in the last three matches, something that has been unheard of so far during this campaign.
While four goals against the Israeli league leaders midweek does help to confirm that the Blues do infact know where the goal is, it’s much more vital to see them conceding fewer goals.
So why are they conceding fewer goals?
It’s because they’ve gotten back to the Mourinho style of football. In the last three games, Chelsea’s graft and desire have been more present than ever.
Take the victory against Norwich for example. The Blues only managed to notch one goal against the Canaries and in the last 15 minutes of the game, Norwich pushed a lot of men forward. It represented a prime situation where Mourinho’s team would have folded earlier in the season. But they didn’t. For the first time they grafted, and fought through a very tough end of the match, and secured all three points.
Against Maccabi, the Blues started very slow, almost conceding in the first 15 minutes. However, they were defensively strong, and outlasted the Israeli side. The red card allowed the Blues to tire out their opponents and that’s when all the goals were scored. These are all signs that Chelsea have turned the corner. And it has to continue against Bournemouth.
The newly promoted side comes into the match with 10 points, and sitting in 18th, the beginning of the relegation zone. Their leading scorer is Callum Wilson with 5 goals to the good this season. However, with a torn ACL, the striker will be forced to watch from the stands. While the newcomers have struggled to get a strong run of games going, the side enter the match on two hard-fought draws.
They found an extremely late equalizer in their fascinating match against Everton last weekend and they were also able to hold onto a point against the struggling Swansea City. There is no doubt that Eddie Howe’s men will enter the match with confidence. They will feel that the Blues are there for the taking, just as Newcastle did when they faced the Blues.
Chelsea are most effective when they seek to absorb pressure, and dominate possession. Then they can break quickly and precisely and look to penetrate Bournemouth’s defense.
Look for Diego Costa to return to the squad and for Hazard to continue to rediscover the dominance that made him Player of the Season last year.
As Chelsea seek to climb the table and pull of an unimaginable feat of qualifying for the Champions League, the Blues will have to take all three points from games like these.
Coming off of a hard fought result against 5th place Tottenham, Mourinho has to know that it’s a must win for the West Londoners on Saturday.