Blues march on

Blues march on

They sauntered their way to three points as West Bromwich Albion chased shadows. The Blues' 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge this morning (Singapore time) demonstrated not only the gulf between their opponents and them, but also how far ahead they are of everyone else in the Premiership at the moment.

Six home wins out of six. Thirty two points from 12 matches. And they have Diego Costa, the club's top-scorer with 11 goals from 10 league matches. Statistics like these put them on a totally different plane from plain mortals.

If this goes on, this season may turn into a one-versus-19 contest, with the rest simply there to make up the numbers. Already, they have a seven-point lead over second-placed Southampton, who won't play until Tuesday morning.

WBA didn't suffer from an off-day. They just met opponents who don't have one. Mere minutes into the game, it was already clear who would be celebrating at the end of the game.

The first real chance fell to Chelsea skipper John Terry, whose strike from inside the six-yard box in the fifth minute forced a stupendous save from WBA goalkeeper Ben Foster. It set the tone. Costa smelled blood.

OPENING GOAL

Six minutes later, the Brazilian-turned-Spaniard hammered in the opening goal with aplomb, taking a cross on the chest before volleying it into the net. He nearly doubled his tally soon after, but Foster was able to divert his shot right after first saving from Oscar.

Then it was Eden Hazard's turn to join the carnival. In a split-second, he zig-zagged past two defenders in the box, and if not for a last-gasp block by a WBA player, the hosts would have widened their lead.

But the superb Belgian was not to be denied in the 25th minute, when he took advantage of some slack defending by WBA to help his side notch a two-goal cushion. And when, moments later, WBA's Claudio Yacob was sent off for a reckless, two-footed challenge on Costa, whatever little chance of a WBA comeback turned into nought.

In situations like these, some teams turn complacent. But Chelsea, under Jose Mourinho, almost never fumble. They kept it simple and did exactly what was required, passing the ball around patiently and keeping possession to deny WBA even the slightest of openings.

Perhaps, with a midweek Champions League meeting with Schalke coming up, they didn't see the need to go flat out. They might not be adventurous, but this was about as mature a performance as a manager could coax out of his men. It's also the sort of display that sends chills down the spines of other title rivals.

Mourinho might have recently laughed off the suggestion that his team can go the season unbeaten. But it's quite likely no one in the Premiership can see the joke.


This article was first published on November 24, 2014.
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