Chelsea now hold a commanding position atop the Premier League table, after defeating Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. It was a performance typical of what we've seen from the Blues of late, very solid defensively while doing enough in attack to assure they got the best possible outcome. Chelsea now sit seven points clear at the top of the table, though both Arsenal and Liverpool have a game in hand, while Manchester City now have three.
It only took 20 seconds or so for the first truly awful call of the game. Samuel Eto'o was set free on goal and brought down by Hugo Lloris, but Spurs were saved an early red card by a blown offside call. Eden Hazard then missed a glorious opportunity to dump the ball into a wide open net, letting Tottenham off the hook for long enough that they could establish a foothold in the contest.
The rest of the half played out without a goal, though both clubs managed to create a few half chances. Jose Mourinho was clearly not content with the way things were going though, and he brought Oscar on for Frank Lampard at the start of the second half.
The second half started out in wide open fashion, with both creating good opportunities within the first five minutes. That suited Chelsea just fine, as when Jan Vertonghen weighted a perfect pass to Samuel Eto'o, the Cameroonian slotted the ball into the back of the net and then had one of the more epic goal celebrations in recent memory.
Younes Kaboul then fouled Eto'o in the box, getting himself sent off before Hazard buried the penalty to make it 2-0. The game was effectively over at that point, with both sides seeming content to simply play out the final 30 minutes. Demba Ba put the icing on the cake with a pair of late goals, and things are sunny in West London.
- Mindgames Mourniho was at it again today, getting Tottenham fans' hopes up by putting Fernando Torres in the announced starting eleven before crushing their hopes by replacing him before kickoff. Injury? Please.
- Hugo Lloris must have wanted the day off or something, because he looked like he was doing everything possible to get himself sent off.
- Michael Dawson is awful in any situation which requires him to be more than ten yards from either goal. Chelsea could have taken advantage of his lack of mobility quite a few times with some better passing.
- Chelsea's other attacking options need to start creating (and finishing) some opportunities with regularity, because teams seem to be counting on being able to leave gaps all over the pitch in order to mark Eden Hazard out of the game.
- Kyle Walker is a better player when he's not saddled with the defensive responsibilities of a fullback. He did a nice job of helping to close down Eden Hazard today, and couldn't leave Michael Dawson woefully exposed.
- I really don't know if the penalty should have been awarded when Samuel Eto'o went down in the box, but after Spurs wrongly escaped having their keeper sent off so early, it's not something the North London club can really feel hard done by.