A month before Christmas, and Chelsea sit comfortably at the top of the Premier League table, 4 points above second-placed Southampton and 8 points above third-placed Manchester City.
With two matches still to go in the group stage, Chelsea just needs 2 points to qualify to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League while they look the favourites to land the domestic cup titles. Things couldn’t be better for Chelsea at the moment. This fantastic position is due to some fantastic performances by the Blues.
Let us take a look at Chelsea’s Five Best Moments So Far This Season
1. The fantastic team goal against Burnley
The first match of the season, away to Burnley. With new signings being made in the form of Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis, Chelsea fans were looking forward to ushering into a new era of dominance. Chelsea went down to an early goal from Scott Arfield, but Costa equalised just four minutes later. And then the footballing fraternity witnessed a goal it generally associates with Guardiola’s Barca or may be Cruyff’s Ajax.
Eden Hazard made a run down the middle beating a couple of players, then passing the ball to Ivanovic to the right. Ivanovic then found Fabregas just outside the box, who, aware of Andre Schurrle running towards goal from behind him, laid off a beautiful, cushioned, first time-pass in his path. Schurrle, in turn just converted with a single touch, side-footing the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper. It was a sight to behold, and it truly looked to have a lot of promise for the new season in it.
2. The return of the King
The last time Didier Drogba was seen in a blue shirt was on May 19th, 2012, when he was busy winning the UEFA Champions League for Chelsea. Having won the ‘holy grail’, Drogba comprehended that his time as a Blue was over, that he had done it all. After short stints at Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray, Drogba just couldn’t turn down an offer from Jose Mourinho, when Mourinho realised that Drogba would not only be a great back up for Costa, but would also have a tremendously heartwarming effect on the Stamford Bridge faithful. And so it happened.
In the first match of the season, away to Burnley, the game was already won, and with six minutes to go, the fourth official indicated the number 11 on his LED board. The King was making his second debut for the Blues. All the fans were off their seats, welcoming back the legend who had contributed so much to the success of this club. It was emotional for Drogba, for Mourinho, for the fans and even for Roman Abramovich.
3. Costa’s first hat-trick
Prior to the Swansea match, Diego Costa, the man bought at a price of 32 million pounds to bring an end to Chelsea’s striker problems, had scored thrice in 3 Premier League matches. He was a doubt for the match against Swansea City due to a hamstring injury aggravated during his international outing with Spain. But after passing a late fitness test, Diego Costa caused trouble to the Swansea defence and how! Swansea took the lead courtesy of an own goal from John Terry. But Costa equalized at the stroke of half-time with a header from Hazard’s corner.
Costa’s second goal was more a result of a fantastic work from the midfielders. Fabregas and Hazard played a quick one-two just inside the box. Fabregas then took the ball to the by-line when he passed the ball back to Costa, who converted from close range. The third goal was a real poacher’s goal as Ramires fired from outside the box, the ball travelling straight towards Fabianski, when Costa just arrived in time to apply a touch to the ball and diverted it into the net. Stamford Bridge exploded with joy. They knew that their team’s striking problems were over.
4. Drogba scores at Old Trafford
When Drogba made his return to Chelsea, many were doubtful whether the 36-year-old could respond to the demands of the Premier League anymore. He may have been brought back to play as a back up for Diego Costa, he may have been on the wrong side of 30, but this was Drogba we were talking about, Drogba the warrior, Drogba the King. He had already scored two goals this season; one from the spot against NK Maribor after coming on for the injured Loic Remy and another in his first start against the very resilient Shrewsbury Town.
With both Costa and Remy still out, Mourinho had to go with Drogba at Old Trafford. Chelsea against Manchester United, it doesn’t get bigger than this. And Drogba proved he still had what it takes to score on big occasions, rising to head the ball into the net from a corner, in what was almost a mirror image of his equalizing goal on that amazing night in Munich, when Chelsea beat Bayern in their own backyard to win their first ever Champions League title. Drogba proved that he might not be young, nor first choice, but as long as he is on the pitch, he is to be taken seriously.
5. Chelsea beat Liverpool at Anfield again
Last season Liverpool were marching happily towards their first league title in 24 years, when Mourinho arrived with his team mostly made up of second choice players at Anfield and with an impeccable display of defense and counter attacking, won the match 2-0 and ended their title run. Moreover, the manner in which Liverpool conceded the first goal, courtesy of a Gerrard slip, made the defeat even harder. So when Chelsea travelled to Anfield again this season, the Kop was boiling with a sense of revenge. They had to inflict defeat on the team that so brutally ended their title dreams the previous season. They started well too, scoring from Emre Can’s shot which took a heavy deflection off Cahill and landed in goal.
But Cahill brought the match back to square one just 5 minutes later, with a scrappy goal from a corner. The winner came in the second half from none other than the brilliant Diego Costa, who slotted the ball into the back of the net from close range, after some brilliant work from Cesar Azpilicueta to keep the ball in play and cross it into the box. At the final whistle, there was a sense of invincibility among the Chelsea faithful, as if the result was never in doubt, which is not always the case when you are playing as the away team at Anfield. But this Chelsea was different, out to dominate, to devour.
Edited By: Ankur Bhatt