Chelsea opened our first league game of the season with a comfortable 2-0 victory against new comers Hull City at Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard and Oscar scored the goals in the first half to give us the deserved 3 points of the after noon in West London. Hull looked nervous in the first half, but they raised their game significantly after half-time and will ultimately be pleased with their showing.
FT- Chelsea FC 2-0 Hull City AFC – Oscar(13′), Lampard(25′)
Chelsea starting 11: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Oscar(Van Ginkel 85′), De Bruyne(Schurrle 67′), Hazard; Torres(Lukaku 75′)
Hull Starting 11: Allan McGrego, Ahmed Elmohamady, Curtis Davies, James Chester, Maynor Figueroa, Robert Brady, Robert Koren, David Meyler, Yannick Sagbo, Danny Graham Sone Aluko
The points were easily claimed, the sun shone and all felt good for Chelsea fans. Mourinho was “home” and rapturously acclaimed. Issues remain, such as David Luiz’s future and whether Romelu Lukaku should be starting ahead of Fernando Torres, but otherwise the Bridge was awash with positives.
After the divisions between support and owner last season, following the controversial appointment of Rafa Benitez, peace reigned at the Bridge. “Roman Abramovich’’ sang the fans. He responded with a smile and self-conscious wave. Celebrating his 10th anniversary as Chelsea’s benefactor, Abramovich paid tribute to the supporters in a special wrap-around cover on the programme: “We’ve had a great decade together and the club could not have achieved it all without you. Thanks for your support. Here’s to many more years of success.’’
The celebratory feel continued on the pitch. Chelsea were pressing hard and breaking elegantly, particularly when De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Oscar were interchanging. Even if it was Oscar who got the party started, it felt like the old days of Mourinho Mark I with John Terry, Ashley Cole and Lampard all to the fore early on.
Chelsea were 4-2-3-1 with Lampard and Ramires holding, Branislav Ivanovic and Cole powering down the flanks while Hazard and the right-sided De Bruyne started wide but cut inside, switching with Oscar, and bamboozling Hull’s defence.
Chelsea were rampant, full of tempo and fluidity and it was a slight surprise they led by only two goals at the break. James Chester blocked a Hazard shot and then Allan McGregor dived to his right to save a Lampard penalty after the keeper had charged into Torres.
Chelsea soon made their chances count. De Bruyne was at the centre of much of the hosts’ best work, creating the first after 12 minutes by taking a pass from Hazard, turning and wrongfooting Hull’s defence. He neatly played in Oscar, who stroked the ball under McGregor.
Chelsea made it 2-0 after 24 minutes. Torres patently milked a challenge from Chester, diving through the air, falling to the floor, and creating a free-kick opportunity from 30 yards for Lampard. Hull’s wall was poor, easily distracted by the movement from those in blue shirts and slightly odd new socks, opening space for Lampard to drill the ball in. He celebrated with a run towards the dug-out, stopping short of embracing Mourinho but clearly indicating his high regard.
Hull were willing but limited, rallying briefly before the close but never fully testing Petr Cech. Chelsea continued to guide the ball around, the movement of the likes of De Bruyne, Oscar, Hazard, Lampard and Cole a continual joy for the home supporters. De Bruyne and Hazard, often Oscar, were assiduous at tracking back when required. The fans enjoyed the compactness when Chelsea were defending and the expansive football in possession.
Lampard almost added a third but McGregor saved well. Torres’ shot was then blocked by Curtis Davies. Even Gary Cahill was trying his luck, turning and winning a corner. From Lampard’s ensuing kick, McGregor pushed up Ivanovic’s header and then pushed it out as it almost fell over the line. Jonathan Moss, the referee, called on the goal-decision system – Hawkeye – for advice and it indicated “no goal” on the screen.
It was very nice sight to see the Goal Technology in place even thought our goal from a corner was disallowed by the Ref. This is a promising forward for the whole game of football and it makes sure results aren’t affected by some stupid referee-ing.
The depth of Chelsea’s creative resources was seen when Andre Schurrle came on for De Bruyne, whose contribution was noted warmly by the home fans. After Cech held a Davies header, Mourinho demonstrated his ability to influence games with a substitution. Hull were immediately pushed further on the back foot. Mourinho sent on Lukaku for the quiet Torres and the striker, who starred for West Brom last season, soon demonstrated why Mourinho should think of starting him. Lukaku confidently laid a fast-moving ball off to Ramires, whose pass sent Schurrle through but he chipped over.
Mourinho then sent on the tall youngster, Marco van Ginkel, who played a more advanced role than anticipated. The game was petering out. Tougher tasks lie ahead but Chelsea are off and running under Mourinho again. Schurrle’s defensive work was also top notch as he charged back a lot of times to help out Ivanovic down our right flank. It also props to our resilient defense that Cech was not tested as much as he would like through out the game. Cahill and Terry showed again what a brilliant partnership they have together and Hull’s striker didn’t even make a goal scoring attempt on goal.
What were your thoughts on our win in the League opener? Please leave us with your opinions below and let us know what you think. KTBFFH!!!