Chelsea FC grab a vital win over Manchester United as Samuel Eto’o scores a memorable hat-trick at Stamford Bridge.
This was Chelsea’s sixth win in a row in all competitions as they extended their best run of form this season so far. The Blues pulled back their difference at the top back to two points and now there is a significant gap opening up between the top three and the rest. This was Jose Mourinho’s 100th win in the league and he also became the fastest manager to reach this landmark, a record previously held by Sir Alex Ferguson. The London club once again proved why are among the favourites to lift the title this season with a clinical display. They will now face Stoke City in the FA Cup, followed by a London Derby against West Ham, before their all-important clash against Manchester City at the start of the next month.
Meanwhile, things are getting tougher for David Moyes and Manchester United with every passing gameweek. This was their fourth defeat in their last five matches in all competitions – a run of form which this historic club has rarely experienced. If there were any lingering hopes of them retaining their title, it surely has been polished off with this result. In fact they will even find it difficult to compete for a top four spot at this rate. If Everton manage to win against West Brom tonight, they will jump to fourth in the table and they will have a seven points advantage over the reigning Premier League champions.
Samuel Eto’o provided an early lead for the home side with a somewhat fortuitous goal as his shot took a wicked deflection off Michael Carrick and floated into the top corner. Chelsea doubled their lead at the stroke of half-time as displayed poor defending from a corner and Gary Cahill set up Eto’o for his second with a low cross. The former Barcelona striker completed his hat-trick four minutes into the second half, a goal in which Gary Cahill played another major role and United’s weakness at the back was exposed once again. It was Eto’o first hat-trick in the last five years and one which he will treasure a lot.
Javier Hernandez pulled one back for United at the end, but it was too little too late for the away side. In fact things got worse for David Moyes and his men as Nemanja Vidic received a red card for reckless challenge on Eden Hazard in the 90th minute of the game. This was certainly not a trip to remember for Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho insisted United’s title challenge is over with this defeat and believes they will now have to fight hard for a top four finish this season.
“Man United is Man United, mathematically it is possible, but it is hard.
“It is 14 for Arsenal, but also 13 for City and 12 to us, so maybe one team might collapse, but for all three teams to collapse to do that and lose so many points, I think is difficult.
“So for them I think it is the fight to finish top four which I think they can do. It is difficult, but with that pride and tradition they will fight and hopefully they win against the other contenders as we don’t play against them in the league.” – The Chelsea manager told the press.
The Portuguese manager also insisted that the win was more important than the personal landmark (100th win) and expressed his delight at the clinical performance from his side. He also reserved special praises for star of the night Samuel Eto’o.
“More important than anything is the three points today. Of course it is nice and 100 victories in the Premier League is obviously one more fantastic thing for my career, but the most important thing is really to win the match.
“It was a very difficult match, a match where it is too hard for them to be losing 2-0 at half-time. They started better than us, they were stronger than us in the beginning and we scored (the) first goal without being in control of the game and the second is too hard for them.
“In the second half we started better and had control of the game for long periods before maybe fatigue or being comfortable with the advantage. They had some spirit and initiative and with their goal the game was open but I think we deserved three points.
“It is three important points for us because it now opens a gap between us and Man United and Liverpool and we are still in contact with Arsenal and Manchester City.
“I think Man United had a good game first-half and losing like that is not easy, but I imagine they will be better and better and become the big team they are.
“I had a strong team physically, the people at the back and David [Luiz] in front of them. And then I had the creative players and I wanted the movement around the box.
“Some of Samuel’s quality around the box, and Fernando [Torres] is more about pace, about power and space, I was feeling today that United was trying to be compact and press us. I needed a player like Samuel and he works well for us, the same as Fernando.” – Mourinho added.