The Premier League was back this weekend when Jose Mourinho’s top placed Chelsea hosted the 18th placed Steve Bruce’s Hull City at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Terry and Ivanovic all made their way back to the starting line-up as Azpilicueta was dropped to the bench in favor of Filipe Luis. The suspension of Fabregas also meant that Mikel retained his spot in midfield alongside Matic. Meanwhile, Costa, Cahill and Cech were among others to retain their spot in the starting eleven from the midweek CL clash.
Let’s take a look at the initial reaction to see how the game panned out at the Bridge:
– It was a great start from the Blues as Chelsea drew the first blood at the 7th minute with virtually the first attack of the evening. Mikel did really well winning the ball back in the middle although the replay did show it may have been a foul.The referee, however, waved the game to go on as the Nigerian passed the ball to Matic who found Oscar on the left wing. The Brazilian subsequently flew a cross in on the far post where Eden Hazard popped at the right position in the right time to head the ball into far post. 1-0 to the good guys!
– Chelsea were a bit sloppy in the midfield misplacing couple of passes which did give the visitors a chance on the attacking front but the Tiger’s were unable to create anything significant as a result. Although, they did enjoy a bit of possession in the middle of the pitch after the first 15 minutes. Probably getting a bit relaxed, the Blues?
– Steve Bruce’s side did very well with their pressing game after conceding that first goal, pressing us high up the pitch which did leave us a bit uncomfortable in the middle with sloppy and mistimed passes. Fair to say, apart from that goal, we looked a bit out of depth with our overall play. Probably missing Fabregas in the middle.
– Diego Costa looked a bit lost upfront as the Spaniard couldn’t get the service he had hoped for. Hull City, meanwhile, looked a better side for the most part and the closing quarters of the first half. Neither team did create any clear cut chance to score goals after the first 10 minutes as the first half ended 1-0 to Chelsea. The Blues did lead at the end of the half, but it was one of the least impressive performances in the season by this Chelsea team. We surely missed the presence of a certain Spaniard to control the game in the middle, but at least we are still winning, playing that kind of dire football. Eh?
– The second half started with no changes from either manager as Blues looked to find a goal and secure all important 3 points. Although, it was Hull City who started the half brightly, getting into dangerous positions and whipping their resulting shots away.
– One of the most embarrassing things for Blues in this fixture was Costa and Willian accumulating bookings for diving. Chris Foy was too easy and aggressive with his bookings, add to that some physical and high pressing play from both the team; a sendoff was always on the cards. Inevitably, Tom Huddlestone was the player dismissed in the 60th minute after a silly and rash challenge on Filipe Luis reducing the Tiger’s to 10 men for the last half an hour.
– The long wait, the long goal drought of Diego Costa was finally over in the 68th minute when the Spaniard put one past the Hull goalkeeper to score his 12th goal of the season. Eden Hazard was the catalyst of the second Chelsea goal as his nice one-two with Ivanovic on the right flank combined with a bit of trickery, found Costa in the penalty box with a clever little pass and the Spaniard made no mistake to put in the back of the net to make it 2-0 Chelsea.
– Jose Mourinho made his first change of the night at the 78th minute as Drogba was introduced in place of Oscar. Schurrle got in for Willian for the final 10 minutes while, Ramires replaced Mikel as the final substitution of the night.
– The final few minutes didn’t result in any more goals. Schurrle did have a couple of decent opportunities, but the German couldn’t make the most of it as the game ended in a 2-0 win for the Blues. It wasn’t the most convincing performances from Mourinho’s side. The first half hour was arguably our worst of the season but once Huddlestone was sent off, Hull had no chance to salvage anything from the game as we all but secured the important 3 points.
3 points clear of Manchester City, still top of the league and having a laugh. Next stop Derby County, till then, KTBFFH.
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt