Well thank goodness for that. Chelsea needed a win today, and we just about scraped one. Against QPR. At home. Which is somewhat less than impressive, but right now I'm just relieved that we grabbed the points. Once again it was slack defending at 1-0 up that hurt us, although this time around there was enough time left for Eden Hazard to win and convert a penalty to secure victory. Phew.
- First, and most important: we've got to stop faffing around and losing focus when 1-0 up. Charlie Austin's goal was well taken, but the defending was still ridiculous and far, far too passive. We didn't do a good enough job closing Leroy Fer down after Thibaut Courtois made a great save, and that gave us no chance whatsoever to deal with what happened next.
- We're having one of those 'Oscar is incredible' runs. He was quietish at the start of the season, but since just before the most recent international break the man has been astonishing. He scored the opener against Crystal Palace with that amazing free kick two weeks ago, and his finish for the goal today was even better.
Let's just hope that this one's sustainable -- he's an absolute joy when he plays like this.
- Diego Costa massively improves the quality of Chelsea's play. The Blues were unable to run a high press against Manchester United at Old Trafford because Didier Drogba just doesn't have the legs to play it, but Costa does, and that allows the whole team to continually force mistakes in the opposition's defensive third. This is the difference between a Chelsea that relies on counterattacks and slow buildup vs. one who can hit you at all times.
- I don't know why I get nervous on Eden Hazard penalties.
- The switch to 4-4-2 when we needed a goal and back to 4-2-3-1 after going up again is the most Jose Mourinho thing. Thank goodness it worked -- I wonder if we'll see the return of last year's 3-5-2 at some point...