Finally a win. As usual, Chelsea started the game in typically spirited fashion, but after a few minutes of energetic knocking about, the game settled into the laborious torpor we'd begun to see of late. We went into the second half on top, but still searching for a goal.
The second half brought an improved performance from the midfield and attack, and a couple of David Stockdale howler's on a ball from the left meant Oscar was able to bundle in an opener, and we were a goal ahead. That wasn't the end of the keeper's terrible play though, as a few minutes later, he fluffed his lines on a simple enough corner, and the John Obi Mikel, (also known as the exalted one, leading light, or defensive midfielder of the century), was on hand to lash home his first league goal for the club.
Elsewhere, a fortunate series of results means we're, despite a stuttering start to the season, sitting atop the league on 10 points. To the bullets!
- John Obi Mikel scored a league goal today. I can finally die in peace.
- Mourinho left very little doubt in everyone's minds about who the team's alpha at #10 was going to be after that glowing press-room endorsement of Oscar, but I think pretty much every single viewer would've been surprised to see Mata's name off the sheet altogether.
- While the first half performance was about as placid as we've been all month, the second half showing was markedly better. Whether it was Mourinho bringing out the harsh words at half time, or the team's general frustration reaching a tipping point, let's hope we've turned a corner after that display in the last 45.
- Unlike usually (or to be more sincere, ever), Torres' arrival actually managed to inject a little more urgency and incisiveness into our attack.
- Let's not get too excited about the Torres cameo though, as his balance and dribbling were still piss-poor as ever.
- We could've had another goal but for Ramires being the man at the end of a couple of decent chances. Alternatively, Ramires could've just as easily won us a second half penalty.
- Oscar continued his nice vein of form, being influential in most of out important attacking moves. Cech was solid and reliable again, coming up with an excellent save to deny Bent at a precarious point in the first half. On the other hand, Hazard picked up his game and had an impressive second half showing to his name.