Whether you were watching today's match on television or were lucky enough to be in Stamford Bridge, it was impossible to miss the vastly improved atmosphere in the first half. Three weeks ago, Jose Mourinho courted controversy by criticising the quality of the home support, and the Chelsea faithful responded by turning the place into a cauldron.
The manager noticed:
There is no comparison. I don’t want to speak about it, for good and for bad. They pay me to coach and win matches, not to be critical of the crowd, so I feel sorry for my comments a couple of weeks ago. But the reality is that today the difference today was amazing.
Although the underlying issues behind the relatively quiet home support haven't been resolved (and I hope the club is taking them seriously), the game today showed just how good the supporters can be when they so choose, despite all of the impediments towards a great atmosphere at the Bridge. Mourinho might be 'sorry' for hurt feelings, but he got exactly what he wanted here. The crowd was great, and the problems are out in the open.
Oh, and we won. Good times all around.