The early kick off in the Premier League this afternoon saw Chelsea take to East Yorkshire to face an in form Hull City at the Kingston Communications Stadium.
With Frank Lampard still out with a calf injury, David Luiz came in for Jon Obi Mikel in midfield as Jose Mourinho went in search for goals on the road. Fernando Torres made his 300th start in the Premier League whilst much to the despair of the travelling Chelsea fans – Juan Mata remained on the bench.
Despite off field disarray over a possible name change, Hull City have rightfully gained plaudits on the field this year, most noticeably taking three points off Liverpool in December.. The most complete of the promoted side, they sat dead in mid-table at the start of the day, a whimsical thought at the start of the season.
This weekend saw the opening day’s fixtures reversed. With Chelsea 2-0 to the good after 25 minutes at Stamford Bridge in August, the travelling faithful were hoping for more of the same.
Petr Cech was on a quest to better Peter Bonetti’s Chelsea record of 208 clean sheets for the club.
A lethargic first half was an even contest. John Terry all but gift-wrapped a package for Sagbo, who could only shoot wide before Oscar planted a shot straight at McGregor from 10 yards out.
David Luiz had a trademark free kick tipped over on half time.
Chelsea came out to turn the screw on Hull in the second half. And after David Luiz again tested Allan McGregor from a free kick, Eden Hazard stepped up, as he has done so often for Chelsea this campaign.
It’s carbon copy after carbon copy for the Belgian. Hazard picked the ball up on the right flank, cut across the box and dummying before unleashing a right footed shot into the bottom of the Hull net. Undoubtedly Chelsea’s player of the season so far, it was Hazard’s 9th Premier League goal of the season.
“We are top of the league, say we are top of the league” sang the Chelsea faithful.
Oscar nearly closed the game out after being set up by Willian in the area, only to be foiled by a flying Curtis Davies challenge.
But Fernando Torres did what Oscar couldn’t, settling the game 5 minutes from time. Beating Alex Bruce for pace before arrowing a shot into the near post. Game set, and match – four in a row for Chelsea in the Premier League.
A controlled Chelsea performance was much to the standards of Jose Mourinho.
This decades Arjen Robben continues to impress. Hazard does similar things with the ball at his feet as the Flying Dutchman used to do. Predictable, cutting inside and inch perfect finishing. Defenders cannot with the pace at which he does all these things, making it impossible to defend against without bringing the player down. It is now five goals and three assists in his last eight appearances for Hazard.
Three points for Chelsea, who have gone top of the league, a record broken for Petr Cech, a goal for Fernando Torres. Not a bad day for the only team in London to win the European cup.
Chelsea: Cech, Cole, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Ramires, Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Torres
Hull City: McGregor, Chester, Bruce, Davies, Elmohamady, Figueroa, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Boyd, Sagbo