What We Learned: A Masterclass from Hazard
Chelsea going into the game vs Newcastle at home knew that the league leaders Arsenal were given a footballing lesson at Anfield in the early kick off. Chelsea knew that a win today and if the result at Carrow Road (City away to Norwich) goes in our favor, we might be top of the league at end of the day. Jose fielded a strong side once again, Captain John Terry missed the game due to the injury he picked in training. Lampard got back into the team, Luiz slotted in at the back. Oscar returned to the lineup making the attacking trio of Hazard – Oscar – Willian being led by Eto’o.
Chelsea started the game in confident fashion and took the game to Newcastle, who themselves were not willing to sit back. But once Chelsea got into the groove it was problems for Newcastle. 2 world class goals from Eden Hazard gave Chelsea the lead at the break and in the 2nd half it was more of the same. A penalty won by Eto’o was converted by Hazard that gave him a well deserved Hattrick.
A solid defensive display and some magic upfront gave Chelsea all three points which took Chelsea to the top of the BPL standings, with City drawing away to Norwich Chelsea have now got a 1 point lead at the top over Arsenal and that’s how it is going to remain until the next gameweek.
What We Learned:
Eden Hazard scored his first BPL hattrick and became the youngest Chelsea player to do so. This season only 4 hattricks have been scored in the BPL two of which coming from Chelsea players (Eto’o and Hazard), the other two coming from Suarez and Adam Johnson.
Throughout the match the commentators were in awe of the man who at the tender age of 23 has got the world at his feet. Some of the touches made by Hazard were simply brilliant and that led to him being compared to the Legendary Gianfranco Zola. Surely he has a long way to go if he wants to be compared to the little magician but he is not doing his chances any harm.
It’s not just his attacking but the overall game play that has taken Chelsea to a whole new level. He is fast becoming the heart and soul of this Chelsea team and with him in such top form Chelsea has got a fantastic chance of doing well in Europe and the remainder of the league season.
Matic yet again had a fantastic game:
With everyone talking about Hazard today, Nemanja Matic’s performance today has gone almost unnoticed but the Big Serb once again had a fantastic game. It’s his assurance in the pivot is giving confidence to our fullback the confidence to move forward.
Matic vs Newcastle: 10 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5 clearances, 4 aerial duels won.
In the 301 mins he has played for Chelsea after his return from Benfica, Chelsea are yet to concede a goal. A testimony to the fact that he indeed is adding a lot to the team defensively. It can do a house of good to our chances, as the saying goes Offense wins you games but Defenses win you the Championships.
It’s not just the starting XI but the depth of the squad:
Chelsea doesn’t just have a great starting XI but quality is there all over the squad. When you have got players like Salah and Schurrle coming on then it’s pretty obvious that there is enough quality on the bench to turn the games around.
Salah had a decent outing showing his pace which will be ideal for us and the brand of football we are willing to play i.e. quick counter attacking football.
Eto’o is improving as a striker:
Eto’o had a decent outing today his role in the 2nd goal was pivotal, that lovely 1-2 with Hazard to set Eden to score his 2nd was sublime. He also got the crucial penalty although it wasn’t much down to him but Yanga Mbiwa’s moment of madness.
It’s good to see our strikers being involved with our attack and it seems Eto’o and Eden are developing a decent understanding with eachother. More goals to follow in the coming games we hope.
City slip up, so did Arsenal. A Title Charge?
My thoughts after the final whistle at Carrow Road were that have we rattled City a bit too much? They were unstoppable two games back and now they have all of a sudden gone two games without scoring a goal, yes Aguero is missed but they still have enough firepower to go past teams like Norwich.
Arsenal today were taught a lesson by a masterclass from Liverpool, some great counter attacking football caught Arsenal off guard. Both these teams have got very difficult games against FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich which might cause them problems in the league, with every game a becoming a must win Chelsea may have an upper hand on the two title rivals.
It’s still a long way to go between now and the end of the season but Mourinho is the master of the mind games and arguably the best tactician in the game so it won’t be easy for Man City or Arsenal to beat us to the summit.