Match Report: Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea
Fernando Torres 5th premier league goal saw Chelsea making another late comeback victory. Jose Mourinho’s side fell behind to a Craig Bellamy goal in Wales but fought back, with the Germany international and the Spain striker both bagging a goal for the Blues.
John swift made a debut in this season and we saw Nathan Ake who made his first match appearance since last season. Kalas who made his 2nd second appearance this season saw the blues ending this season with an positive attitude.
A balloon-laden pitch – Cardiff fans littered the playing area with blue in the hope owner Vincent Tan will revert to the club’s original colors – could not halt early Chelsea pressure, Oscar firing a warning shot when curling just over.
Their early verve did not yield too many more openings, though, and Cardiff took advantage in the 15th minute.
Bellamy picked up the ball, moved to the edge of the area and unleashed an ambitious pot-shot that deflected off Cesar Azpilicueta to wrong-foot Mark Schwarzer.
It was an undeserved lead for the hosts, and we looked to hit back instantly. A nice, intricate move on the edge of the box allowed Hazard the space to feed Salah but the Egyptian, who failed to find a proper connection, could only steer his effort over the bar.
It was Chelsea dominating possession, and just before the half-hour mark approached another great chance went begging. Mikel picked the ball up just inside the Cardiff half, looked up and picked out the run of Oscar with a simple ball over the top of the static home defenders. The Brazilian was on to it quickly but as he fired towards goal the faintest of touches from Turner deflected it behind.
Clear-cut chances continued to elude Chelsea and their opponents almost capitalised once more, Fraizer Campbell wriggling into the box and firing over.
Determined to get back into it, Mourinho’s side pressed further forward after the break with Torres curling wide from just outside the area.
Yet, as was the case in the opening period, possession did not initially lead to goals – although the visitors came agonisingly close when Eden Hazard stuck the side-netting.
There was more urgency in our attacking play, with Hazard, Oscar and Salah making the type of runs which defenders find difficult to track but, in truth, Marshall wasn’t being seriously tested often enough.
Andre Schurrle was introduced at the expense of Mikel shortly after Hazard had fired into the side-netting, a switch which saw Oscar revert into a deeper midfield role.
The Chelsea number 11 tested Marshall from outside the box as we looked to find a way back into the game and it soon came.
Chelsea did finally draw level in the 73rd minute. After Azpilicueta – having somehow found himself in the area – had forced a fine reaction save from David Marshall and hit the crossbar with the follow-up, Schurrle showed fine poise to power a volley into the net.
As is often the case, one goal immediately brought a second as Torres, who was just onside, chested down Branislav Ivanovic’s header into the area and finished coolly.
Schurrle almost added further gloss when his effort was tipped over by Marshall, yet it mattered little as Chelsea signed off with a win.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Kalas, Cole (c); Mikel (Schurrle 64), Matic; Salah (Ake 78), Oscar, Hazard (Swift 88) Torres.
Unused substitutes Hilario, Cahill, David Luiz, Ba.
Scorers Schurrle 72, Torres 75
Booked Mikel 32, Matic 87
Cardiff City (4-4-1-1): Marshall; Fabio, Caulker (c), Turner, John; Gunnarsson, Mutch, Whittingham, Daehli (Cowie 66) Bellamy; Campbell (James 88)
Unused substitutes Lewis; Eikrem, McNaughton, Berget, James, Healey.
Scorer Bellamy 14
Booked Whittingham 50
Referee Michael Oliver