Chelsea grabbed a late winner to take all 3 points from today’s clash of the checkbooks. It was the sort of victory that will have all Blues fans feeling there is a strong possibility that under Jose Mourinho’s stewardship we will win the Premiership this season.
Unfortunately for the “lighter shade of Blue’s” fan it was a painful ending to a very good performance and still leaves them firmly in the “well it takes time for a new manager to settle in ” camp.
Fernando Torres’s winner in the last minute of regular time was the perfect fillip for the player’s rehabilitation. Earlier in the game he had missed an opportunity that Harry Rednapp’s mother could have scored with her underwear round her ankles, luckily that will not be his takeaway from today. He also created the first goal for the Blues by showing some of his old dribbling skills, embarrassing Clichy by his turn of pace and laying it on a plate for our own Captain Birds-eye, Andre Schürrle.
The winning goal itself was another nail in Joe Hart’s coffin, and unfortunately it is looking like the closest he will get to a Brazilian next summer will be the waxing salon on Bury New Road.
He and Nastasic combined Laurel and Hardy style to gift Torres the late winner, the defender heading back toward goal without realizing his keeper had come out to clear the ball. This left Torres to accelerate past both of them, just reaching the ball in time to sneak it into the right hand corner.
The Mourinho vs Pellegrini show saw the Man.City boss making the more dramatic moves. He changed the formation playing Yaya higher up the pitch and the wonderful Agüero on his tod at the top of the formation. City’s biggest loss was Vincent Kompany, who is sidelined with injury and sorely missed for footballing and leadership reasons.
Mourinho continues to try and balance his team with youth and experience. Hence we continue to see Cech, Terry & Lampard forming the backbone.
Unfortunately I think that Super Frank is finally feeling the pace at 35 years of age. There is little doubt that he is our greatest hero, but his waning ability to control and dispatch the ball at speed, has meant that he cannot create the goal-scoring opportunities that are his signature.
Instead he seems to be left with little option but to play the Ray Wilkinsesque sideways or backwards ball that cannot be much fun for him. It seems that Jose has yet to earmark Lampard’s successor. Mikel does not provide the goalscoring from midfield and Willian does not have the defensive capabilities yet. Although our latest Brazilian signing would get my vote.
Oscar continues to be most improved player in this years squad. He wins more 50/50 balls than anyone except Ramires, while fighting well above his weight. Combine that with an incredible first touch, superb peripheral vision and a powerful shot and you are creating Dr. Frankenstein’s version of a footballer.
Chelsea came out of the blocks quickly in the first half and no-one would have been surprised if we had taken an early lead. City looked fragile at the back without Kompany and also absentee Lescott. New signing Demichelis had a baptism of fire, but that’s why Pelligrini signed his 32 year old stalwart anyway.
But within 20 minutes or so the visitors had clawed their way back into the game, Silva and Torre bossing the midfield. Aguero looked up for it and frankly from this point forward City were the more dangerous team in the last 3rd.
Half time came and went and so did Chelsea’s sharpness from the earlier in the game. Within a couple of minutes of the restart City were deservedly level. Augero pounced on slack Cahill marking and unleashed a rocket into the top right corner which left Cech with a 3 egg omelette on his face.
“I’d settle for a point” could be heard from the Mathew Harding stand.
Lampard , Hazard, Schürrle were replaced by Mikel, Willian & Eto’o as Mourinho appeared to agree. Meanwhile Pelligrini swapped out Aguero for Negredo with attacking intententions.
When Torres’s late winner hit the back of the net, Mourinho was so excited he ran into the second tier of the East stand to be with his peeps. I’m sure if Howard Webb could have given him a yellow card for an over exuberant goal celebration he surely would have. Anyway that’s what it means to him, his enthusiasm for all things Blue is great to bear witness to, and a far cry from fatso last season.
Second place and nibbling at Arsenal’s ankles is a good position all things considered. We are still in the experimental stage of this campaign and Champions League knock-out qualification is the priority.
This seasons Premiership will continue to see the big boys drop points here and there. It will be par for the course. Today it was City’s turn to slip on the banana skin.
For those of you that accuse me of only writing up winning games, I have no idea what you are on about!…. New job has meant new hours & new commitment but slowly figuring out how to make time for the blog.