When you’re top of the table the best way to relieve pressure is to win and that’s what Chelsea are doing. For what could have been a potentially testing fixture, Chelsea hammered Spurs 4-0 after a second half Spurs fans will try to forget in a hurry.
The first half was, to put it kindly, underwhelming. Chelsea got out of the blocks quickly and looked to get at the high line Sherwood sent his team out to play. Eto’o and most notably Hazard exposed this high line in the first five minutes with Eto’o setting Hazard free with a neat through ball, rounding Lloris only for the Belgian, to the surprise of many, put the ball into the side netting. The remainder of the half was about containment for the visitors, they failed to create any real chances and appeared happy to keep the ball in the middle of the pitch without penetrating.
A half time substitution from Mourinho saw Lampard replaced by Oscar, it seemed to be the catalyst for the later dominance Chelsea enjoyed. However, it took a bit of luck for Chelsea to open the scoring, Vertonghen slipped and aimlessly kicked the ball back towards his central-defenders allowing Eto’o to pounce on the loose ball and calmly slot it between the legs of Lloris.
Although clearly past his best, the Cameroonian has and still is making a living out of his instinctive decisions and knack of being in the right place at the right time. Even at the grand old age of 33 (His birthday is today, Happy Birthday Samuel!) he’s an asset to the team, his experience and nous could prove vital in the coming months.
Eto’o then used his awareness to get himself across Kaboul after Hazards low cross and earned a penalty. Hazard stepped up and stoked the ball into the net with nonchalant class. The Spurs defender was harshly sent off and the game was all but sealed. Eto’o was then replaced by forgotten man Demba Ba who later capitalised on yet more Spurs errors to get himself a couple of goals in the space of a few minutes.
Chelsea now see themselves seven points clear at the top with both Arsenal and Liverpool having a game in hand. City, arguably the biggest rivals to the title, have three games in hand. But if their recent form is anything to go by combined with the prospect of playing twice a week for the rest of the season, it will be far from easy for the Capital One Cup winners to win all three. However, Mourinho suggests that City are in “pole position”. What position would you like to be in?