Chelsea FC displayed a rather refreshing performance, contrary to their recent sufferings, to thrash M. Tel Aviv 4-0 at Stamford Bridge. With the visit of Arsenal just round the corner, how much will Chelsea gain from revelling in superiority for the first time this season?
The Champions league has finally provided Chelsea with some respite. After a long time, barring the occasional sprightly period, Jos Mourinho’s men were seen imposing themselves on their opponents, dominating for lengthy spells, and comprehensively winning a football match. The fans were relieved at last, and they celebrated by chanting Jos Mourinho’s name, much to his delight.
Mourinho was at his candid best in the pre-match press conference as he got worked up on two occasions by ‘stupid’ questions. According to him, he is the ‘happy special one’ and he veered off any signs of looking vulnerable. He explained why the third season stigma is actually a load of rubbish, as he has performed decently enough to have any stigmas attached.
It’s early to talk about a potential sacking, however, he would know how important this match was for him. Everything about this match, even with Terry on the bench, seemed like a tonic. A 4-0 win, albeit against feeble opponents, should give Chelsea a huge boost. They have lacked every ingredient champions must possess in order to defend their title. And in a phase like this, it is perhaps better to forget the quality of opposition and just concentrate on all positives that come from a victory.
Those offered a rare opportunity to impress the Portuguese, grabbed it with open arms. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was cautioned after just 56 seconds, but he didn’t look like he had played just 17 minutes of first team football so far. He was brilliant thereafter, and with the central midfield an area of concern for Chelsea FC, that sort of a display could demand an inclusion on Saturday alongside Nemanja Matic. Baba Rahman looked a threat down the left flank and Kurt Zouma partnered skipper Gary Cahill in the central defence.
Fabregas, Willian, Oscar and Costa, all managed to get their name on the score sheet. Fabregas looked very much like the player who set Stamford Bridge alight when he first came from Barcelona. Oscar showed no signs of a player who had just returned from injury and Willian’s performance didn’t come as a surprise as he has been one of the few players who has sparkled for Chelsea FC this season.
But the perfectionist in Mourinho will see the areas they need to improve on. An obvious worry for him is his talisman, Eden Hazard. Hazard has struggled to find form this season after an extraordinary campaign last time. He had a glorious chance to open his account for the season from the penalty spot, but the Belgian failed to convert it. Hazard did show glimpses of his old self when he strode his way into the Macabbi area. Mourinho will know that unless Hazard finds his feet again, Chelsea will not be able to hold defend their title. Another matter of concern, is Diego Costa. Unlike Hazard, he did get on the score sheet but much like Hazard, he doesn’t look like the player who was hammering goals after goals last season.
Ahead of a fixture against Arsenal, that always has Jose Mourinho’s fluids flowing, Chelsea will be looking to garner all the confidence from their Champions League win and finally kick-start a so far sluggish season.