The Special One indeed still has the special touch.
A somewhat labored first half highlighted by a pair of gaffes from each team rather than any sort of quality football - or chances - left Chelsea and Cardiff level at 1. The early stages of the second half, though more lively, resulted in much of the same and Mourinho, just as he did at Carrow Road a few weeks back, gambled by moving to three defenders. And, once again, the move paid off.
Chelsea reeled off three goals following the tactical switch, the first just two minutes after the move, to remain undefeated at Stamford Bridge this season in the Premier League.
Mourinho made the move on 64 minutes, bringing on Fernando Torres for Ryan Bertrand. The switch immediately paid dividends, with Eto'o cutting inside Steven Caulker following a incisive pass from Hazard, and slotting back across Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall at his near post.
Mourinho moved to four at the back almost immediately following the goal, with Cesar Azpilicueta coming on for Eto'o, and the rest of the match was a coast. Oscar added a stunning goal, one that shaved the crossbar as it whisked past Marshall, before Hazard wrapped up the day's scoring in the 82nd minute.
Perhaps a generous scoreline considering the first half, but the three points were thoroughly deserved. All in all - a good day at the office for the Blues.
- I guess it's only fitting that, as we close in on Halloween, that we would be witness to a pair of genuine nightmares during the opening 45 minutes. This truly was Freddy Krueger type stuff, people. There was David Luiz, laughably lackadaisical as Chelsea conceded first, and then there was Marshall who, well, did his best to one-up our Brazilian defender. The horror.
- Eto'o is still not quite there in front of goal, despite recording his first for the club, but the rest of his game seems to be returning quicker than expected. I was impressed with his movement, making himself available on the left early in particular, and his vision/passing was solid.
- Marshall's nightmare continued into the second half, as the Cardiff keeper may have done better with Oscar's blitzkrieg and certainly should have saved Hazard's late goal. I reckon he's going to need to wear a mask about town this coming week.
- I'm pretty sure we had around 98 percent possession in the first half.
- John Terry continues to be an imperious presence at the back for the club. Much was said about him being potentially on the decline - some
foolssaid he was finished as last season concluded - but here he is, proving to be our most dependable defender and looking better in each appearance.
- I like Oscar.