Chelsea got off to a great start, and had an early opportunity to take a 1-0 lead when Fernando Torres took a punch to the face in the box. Frank Lampard failed to convert his first penalty opportunity though, and the Blues would have to wait to open the scoring.
The home crowd weren't waiting for very long to celebrate a goal however, as a Hazard-De Bruyne-Oscar link up had the Blues up a goal about five minutes later. Chelsea continued to knock on the door, and doubled the lead compliments of a sensational Frank Lampard free kick that probably should have been saved.
Since the game was more or less wrapped up after 25 minutes, Chelsea decided to check the effectiveness of the goal decision system seconds before halftime. The system passed with flying colors, as one of the toughest decisions a referee will ever have to make was correctly ruled as no goal on the final corner of the half.
The second half got underway with no changes for Chelsea, although they looked a bit sluggish for the first few minutes of the restart. Hull still looked like a Championship team hanging out in the Premier League though, so the slow start was nothing to worry about.
The 67th minute brought the first change of the match, with debutante Kevin De Bruyne making way for fellow debutante Andre Schurrle. Chelsea still looked sluggish though, and Petr Cech was actually forced into making a decent save. The next change brought Romelu Lukaku on for Fernando Torres, and things began to come to life a bit after that.
The final change of the day brought Marco van Ginkel on for his Chelsea debut, replacing the impressive Oscar for the game's final minutes. Chelsea seemed content to simply ride out the 2-0 victory, and Jose Mourinho's return will now forever be marked with three points.
Here are some thoughts in the immediate aftermath of this one:
- I was a bit surprised by the decision to start both Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres after the preseason that they had, but I suppose I really shouldn't have been. Starting the club's all-time leading scorer in the opener at home is a no-brainer, and he'll have plenty of time to drop Fernando against far better opposition if he goes back to looking poor. That said, Torres wasn't bad today.
- Chelsea are going to be a very good team.
- Hull City aren't going to be a very good team.
- The atmosphere today was just so much better than it was for the vast majority of last season. It's amazing what having a manager that people actually like can do for the morale of the fanbase.
- I like a lot of the things NBC is doing, but having the "live" stream running 90 seconds or so behind the television feed is more than a little irritating. Also, archive your games like ESPN3 or FoxSoccer2Go did. Thanks.
- This is going to be a very fun season. I'm so glad we have meaningful Chelsea football back.