Boring, boring Chelsea is back. Jose Mourinho decided to rest all of Eden Hazard, John Terry, and Petr Cech today, setting up a bit more conservatively than he generally does at Stamford Bridge to start the FA Cup tie. Goals appeared to be tough to come by today, as the chances Chelsea were creating were all skillfully wasted by our attackers.
Luckily for the Blues though, John Obi Mikel was there to save the day for Chelsea with his 4th goal in 300 appearances. Oscar doubled the lead just minutes after the opener, and the outcome was never in doubt from that point forward. The only question at that point was whether or not we'd see a Lewis Baker debut, which we eventually did in the 87th minute. With Derby out of the way, Chelsea will now host Stoke City in the fourth round, set to be played later in January.
Here are a few thoughts now that this one has been played:
- Oscar had a great chance to go to ground in search of a penalty just minutes into this one, and didn't appear to even consider it. That was good to see after an embarrassing dive midweek.
- I'm sure many fans will start screaming about Mourinho's approach in the first half, but I think his decisions made an awful lot of sense. Derby are a decent side that like to overload the wings in attack and are very open to teams hitting them on the break, putting on players that offer cover in those areas and excel in transition seems pretty logical.
- While I like the basic idea Mourinho seemed to be going for today, Michael Essien is just a shell of the player he used to be. Five years ago, he'd have been perfect for a game like this. Unfortunately he doesn't really offer anything but experience anymore.
- How many times over the past two years have our strikers been free on goal and not even managed to get a shot off?
- West Ham stink.
- I love that those pushing the 'oldest club competition in the world' label have decided to use a pink ball in all FA Cup fixtures this season. Nothing like pushing the tradition and history of the competition with a gimmick.
- The most congested stretch of the fixture list has now been completed. With no midweek games until Wednesday, January 29 should mean the squad is well rested in short order, something that will surely make Jose Mourinho smile.
- Dave the Rat, a.k.a. Cesar Azpilicueta, says left back ain't no thing but a chicken wing
- The transfer window is open again, so naturally the Wayne Rooney to Chelsea rumors are back
- Wallace's agent now denies that his Inter loan will be cut short
- Wallace likely to return to Chelsea rather than continue at Inter Milan
- Chelsea have Fredy Guarin bid rejected, according to reports