GHarry Monk the Home side’s manager had his first taste of a real home slaughter since taking the helm nearly a year ago. He would do well to forget this in a hurry, not reading too much into it and putting it down to a “Black Swan Event”….. excuse the pun but in truth the departure of Wilfred Bony may well have more of a lasting effect than a one-off. I thought the Blues should have signed him a couple of years ago, and think that City have done a smart piece of business, even at that price.
Mourinho reverted back to his strongest team after giving Cahill a much-needed and well deserved rest last week. He did however leave Petr Cech between the posts after his clean sheet at Newcastle, Courtois sat on the bench. We have two world-class keepers competing for the starting position. The fact that Courtois was not playing, I’m sure says a lot about the Belgian’s respect for Cech’s handling of losing his number one spot at the beginning of the season and the understanding that if you let 5 goals in (vs Spurs) , you now have a battle on your hands for your place…. a very healthy situation for Jose.
The game was over within 30 minutes of the first half as the Blues punished some very poor Swansea defending. The home side were at sixes and sevens, and if Willian would have been as deadly as Diego Costa or Oscar, that would have been the number of goals scored by half-time.
In the end it was braces by both Costa and Oscar that put the Blues out of sight by the whistle on 45 minutes. Costa also had a couple of assists to add to the 3 goal lead he now has over Sergio Aguero in the race for Premiership Top Scorer.
Costa in particular looks back to his deadly best, his second goal, where he managed to squeeze the ball past Fabianski at the near post, required both confidence and pinpoint accuracy ….. he has bags of both again.
But the real star of today’s show was Cesc Fabregas. His vision is breathtaking. It is like Grand master in a chess game playing a total beginner. He is 3 or 4 moves ahead of his opponent. Today Swansea made the critical mistake of not closing down our midfield general. As soon as he neared the penalty box, there was a sense we would score. The one touch football between him, Hazard, Oscar and Costa was like watching Barca at the best from a couple of seasons ago, or dare I say it an Arsenal side when they were winning things. He gets my man of the match award……. Also the fact that Matic is there to mop up and scraps if the defending side manages to get a tackle or half clearance in, gives Fabregas a comfort level to play the more attacking pass.
I noticed that Yuan Mata does not have this luxury at Man.Utd at present, hence his mostly sideways distribution pattern, this I feel is the root of the poor penetration of that team (no shots on target last week against Southampton).
The second half saw Swansea, post a manager rocket, at least compete a little better. As much as Blues fans would have liked to have seen more of the same from the first half to improve our goal difference, it was not to be.
Jose gave some of the fringe players a run out in the last 20 minutes to wisely give them some game time. Ramires, Schurrle and Remi all got a chance to impress. Schurrle bagged the 5th goal after yet more intricate play from Invanovic dowm the right hand side.
So hopefully Chelsea’s “rough patch” , if you can really call it that, is now behind us, and we a firing on all cylinders as we enter the real race for the title. We will all be Gooners for a day, as we hope Arsenal’s recent rich vein of form continues tomorrow at the Ethiad Stadium. A draw would make this a great weekend for Chelsea and set up our home tie vs City in a couple of weeks as an even bigger fixture than it already is, a home win could be seen as the title decider.