Chelsea’s impressive start to the season continued as the Blues toppled new boys Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Diego Costa was on hand to poach his second goal of the season with Chelsea’s previous ‘striker crisis’ coming to a definitive end.
Both teams began proceedings encouragingly with Leicester showing no nervousness or fear as the Foxes looked to build on last weekend’s fantastic result against Everton. However as the first half went on, the lack of quality in each final-third became more evident with Pearson’s troops more than content with their performance, holding their own against a multi-million Chelsea squad. Leicester will rue the loss of key players Danny Drinkwater and Matty James through injury, both of whom would’ve made a genuine impact on what was a vulnerable game for Chelsea in the first half.
It was only until the 63rd minute when the deadlock was finally broken.Following some good work down the right flank by Oscar and Branislav Ivanovic, Costa grabbed his second goal of the season in what was an average showing up until then. Chelsea didn’t settle for just one goal because wing wizard Eden Hazard bagged his first Barclays Premier League goal of the campaign in the 77th minute, securing all three points for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Similar to the game against Burnley on Monday night, it always seemed as if Chelsea were in firm control, despite glimpses of promising play from Leicester. Chelsea were always more than capable of stepping it up another couple of gears if they pleased. Another trend from the game at Turf Moor, was the fascinating interchange and movement of Chelsea’s attacking players, the attacking three in particular. Their dazzling runs and silky touches almost hypnotize the opponent rearguard as they probe for an opening. It’s truly a joy to watch and City were the latest victims of Chelsea’s dynamism in what ultimately turned out to be a comfortable victory for the west London outfit. Yet, Leicester were far from disgraced and they give themselves a fine chance of staying up on the basis of two respectable shifts so far this term.
Legend Didier Drogba was reintroduced to the Stamford Bridge faithful, replacing top dog Diego Costa in the 79th minute. As expected, the Ivorian received a rapturous applause and a standing ovation from the Chelsea supporters on an emotional return to the Bridge. Having the luxury of being able to bring someone of Drogba’s calibre off the bench late on just illustrates the depth of the Blues’ refurbished squad. Drogba’s energy in the final ten minutes rubs off the rest of his team mates when he’s on the pitch, inspiring the rest of the players to finish strong. A shrewd signing by Mourinho indeed.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois kept his place in-goal and was never really tested as Petr Cech’s Chelsea future looks more uncertain by the day. Nevertheless, the Belgian will be happy with his first clean sheet of the season as he seems to have nailed down the starting spot between the sticks for the year ahead.
Mourinho will now hope that Stamford Bridge can be once again a fortress, replenishing his countless records at home as Chelsea boss, that make the Bridge such a difficult place to go and play football for most teams. The Blues have definitely started this league season with a means to go on, back with a vengeance after a trophyless season last time around. Beware all other clubs of the Barclays Premier League, Chelsea, mean business.
Can these pair of Chelsea wins be the start off a relentless charge for the Premier League title, or do we still need to see how they fare against more established opposition before making a judgement? Also Leicester fans, after a positive result against Everton last week and putting up a good fight against the might of Mourinho, are you optimistic of Premier League survival? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .