Chelsea took full advantage of Arsenal’s early game whooping at the hands of the Pool by cruising to victory over Newcastle and claiming top spot.
As expected Man City’s free scoring run, which was abruptly ended by Chelsea on Monday, was always going to take more than one game to return. Norwich holding them to a goal-less draw was the other piece of the puzzle needed to see the Blues looking down on all and sundry.
Eden Hazard moved onto the shoulder of Luis Suarez in the race for player of the season. He scored a sublime hat-trick and Mourinho’s handling of him sees the Belgian going from strength to strength.
It was also good to see Super Frank get an outing. Jose needed him today mainly for his Captaincy duties as JT was absent with a late muscle strain. David Luiz partnered Gary Cahill at the back, importantly the second string paring helped Chelsea notch up 4 clean sheets in a row.
Newcastle rarely threatened, weakened by injuries to Remy and Tiote, also the departed Cabaye has left a decent size hole that needs filling. We believe that Joe Kinnear’s nephew is having a trial on Monday.
Jose went back to his usual formation today, which saw Oscar return to the number 10 role, and Eto’o supported by Willian and Hazard. Ashely Cole continues to warm the bench and my guess is that Beckham will approach him with promises of big things in Miami by 2016…… Although rumours of the “away kit” for Becks’ new franchise being Black Y-Fronts and no shirts have Ashley slightly concerned.
Ramires made way for Lampard to Captain the side. I think its the first time that Jose has rotated the Brazilian, although not necessarily out of choice. I have a feeling that if JT was fit, Super Frank would have been sharing a blanket with Ashley Cole. The schedule is about to get heavy again with the Champions League resuming, so giving one of our most consistent performers a breather may not be such a bad thing.
Nemanja Matic has cemented his spot in the chosen 11, the “Missing Link” between attack and defense had another superb day. I think that John Obi is now destined to be a make-weight in the summer transfer market.
Hazard took only 63 minutes to get his triple score. The first on 27 mins was the best in show. Meeting Ivanovich’s cross first time, Hazard gave Tim Krull no chance as the ball nestled in the bottom right corner. His turn of pace continues to demonize oppostion defenses. Lampard kindly let Eden take the penalty to complete his set after Eto’o had drawn a foul in the box from Mbiwa.
Today also saw the debut of our new man Mohamad Salah, the winger from Basel certainly showed impressive pace. He would have been a little disappointed not to have made it a scoring debut as he missed a couple of easy chances.
Mourinho is currently spoiled for choice with a near full strength squad. When Torres returns, he could almost put 2 teams out that are capable of a top 4 berth.
In the last week Chelsea may have installed themselves as Title favourites, a fit squad and a genius at the helm are not to be underestimated. Jose’s horse has his nose in front and hasn’t even broken a sweat yet.
We knew this would be a season in-development for a few of the big clubs. Mourinho is certainly benefitting from a return to familiar surroundings as his plan comes together ahead of schedule and importantly while Moyes is still stuck at the drawing board and Pellegrini has a some key injuries.
Hopefully we can “Bag” three points on Tuesday in Birmingham and try to stretch the field!