Jose Mourinho is a brilliant tactician, and if there was still any doubt to the obvious fact, he comfortably put it to bed last night with the stroke of a genius first with Eden Hazard and then by introducing Ramires in the second half.
Replacing a highly inefficient and inept Andre Schurrle with Ramires at the second half, and then reverting to a 4-3-3 formation with Oscar slotting in comfortably at the right hand side of the pitch with Costa in the middle and Fabregas, Matic and Ramires at the Central Midfield, helped Chelsea to control the momentum of the game, and completely demolish the Swans defence.
So what prompted Mourinho to change his tactics at the half-time?
The reason was a rather dismal performance from the blues for the first 25 minutes, which saw Swansea take the lead at the 11th minute through a John Terry own goal and then having several runs into our helpless defence, completely dominating us in the process.To be honest, we were lucky enough to concede just one goal in the first quarter of the game.
Most of the Swans attack came from our right side of the pitch, through Taylor and Routledge. The reason being Ivanovic’s frequent bombing forward to join the attack which left Andre Schurrle a little too much to do while tracking back, which resulted in our right side well exposed for the likes of Routledge and Taylor to operate.
But it wasn’t the real problem for the blues but more of a consequence to the real problem. The main set-back for the blues was our Central Midfield, which looked surprisingly out of sorts in the first-half.
Nemanja Matic looked a bit lost in the middle and was easily dispossessed by Routledge, which lead to that first goal. Matic is the key player of this Chelsea team in the middle. He helps control the rhythm and momentum of the game, and him having an off day meant Fabregas and other attacking players rarely saw the ball in the dangerous areas in the first quarter of the game, and our midfield was completely bypassed by the Swansea players. An inefficient Matic meant that Swansea had the license to attack us from the middle and the right side of the pitch and humiliate us considerably.
Something needed to change for the blues, and Mourinho realized this.
He called Hazard who was largely inexistent till then, to the touchline to whisper some magical words in the little Belgian’s ears, and whatever instructions he gave resulted in Hazard coming to life. He started making inroads in the Swansea defence almost immediately through his famous criss-cross mazy runs and caused havoc in the Swans players.
It was the need of the moment and hazard provided just that with some brilliant display of individual football, but still it was more of an individual performance rather than a team effort. Barring Hazard and Oscar the midfield still looked uncosy at the end of the first half though the momentum had shifted in our favor.
Mourinho, the brilliant tactician that he is, realized that it was the midfield where the main problem lied and introduced Ramires at the start of the second half in place of Schurrle. This resulted in Chelsea playing a 4-3-3 formation, with Oscar moving to the Right wing. Ramires pairing with Matic meant we had a better control in the midfield, and we could play a subsequent higher-pressing game which gave Fabregas the freedom to do what he does best which is…..assist Diego Costa of course!
The wingman with his crisp, eye-soothing passes helped Costa score his first hat-trick for the blues while Ramires in his shuttle role showed us why he was a world class player when deployed in a 4-3-3.
There were moments in the second-half when we were so in control of the game that it looked like our opposition was a second string team. Mourinho with his brilliant tactics once again helped Chelsea overcome a dismal performance to an awesome attacking display. He is the man, a magician, the evil genius behind this new-look Chelsea team and all we hope is Long he may continue!