Dec 062014
 

After an uncharacteristic bore draw between us and Sunderland, Chelsea returned to winning ways against Spurs. A 3-0 demolishing even without top scorer Diego Costa showed our strength and what we can usually do and also expresses the fact that the draw against the Black cats on Saturday was just a minor blip on the path to hopeful Premier League glory.

Chelsea were unchanged as the same selection that played the last three games were in the line-up except upfront where Didier Drogba was selected ahead of Loic Remy due to Costa’s suspension. The big Ivorian didn’t disappoint after being given the nod, like we are used to. Drogba set up Eden Hazard with a remarkable back heel to assist the Belgian who fired past the Spurs goalkeeper at the near post, 1-0 Chelsea.

Three minutes later it was all Chelsea again, Hazard this time the provider as Drogba muscled his way past Spurs Vertonghen to poke the ball over Hugo Lloris for 2-0. Drogba soon came off for Remy in the second half and the French man made a good introduction getting into the game. After receiving a good pass from Cesar Azpilicueta he did brilliantly to cut into his right foot from his left, leaving Vertonghen, once again, flat footed before slotting it calmly into the net. Hugo Lloris the Spurs keeper had no chance as he was routed to the spot.

However there were a few negatives from the game. Nemanja Matic received a fifth yellow card and would be suspended for the next game against Newcastle, away while Gary Cahill was replaced after a collision with Spurs striker, Harry Kane. The defender might be in doubt for the next game but otherwise the team is fine.

The clean sheet is a fourth successive one and the points mean we are still six points ahead of City. Hazard scored his seventh of the season and Drogba with his fifth. The victory also meant we haven’t still lost at home to Spurs since Gary Lineker’s goal in 1990 and also with that win we have equaled our club record of 23 games unbeaten in 2007, we also equalled it in 2009.

With Manchester City’s 3-1 4-1 demolishing of Sunderland they are still very much on the prowl to defend their title, there were wins for Arsenal and Man.Utd as well as Liverpool over the midweek but none of them pose a threat as much as City at the moment. Southampton lose again and look like they would drop from the top 4, it could be the usual culprits going to Europe again next year but as for who wins the title it still looks Chelsea bound, until Newcastle away, top of the league. Come on Chelsea!

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 Posted by at 9:42 am
Sep 152014
 

In a six goal thriller at Stamford Bridge, the Blues showed why they have been touted by the Bookmakers to win the title this season. After going down by one goal early on, courtesy a John Terry own goal after he miscued a cross from left back Neil Taylor into his own net. The Chelsea lads picked up their game and basically pinned the Swansea team back for long periods of the first half.

It all paid off on the stroke of half-time, as Diego Costa headed in from close range. The goal left Chelsea fans all around the world thankful that Diego Costa didn’t fail his fitness test, as he was supposedly doubtful for the game.

The 2nd half saw a flurry of goals as Diego Costa added a second after some sexy interchange between Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas. A third goal came right after that as Costa completed his hat-trick.

Diego Costa was substituted with 9minutes of extra time to go with Loic Remy coming in and eventually adding a 4th with a first time shot, curled around the goal keeper and into the net.

In the dying minutes however, attacking midfielder Jojo Shelvey pulled a goal back for Swansea after some sloppy defending let him through on goal.

It was an exciting match, with lots of goals. Here are 5 things we learnt from the show down;

  1. CHELSEA ARE FAVOURITES FOR THE TITLE.

In Gary Monks post match interview, he tipped Chelsea to win the league. Saying that although they had beaten Manchester United, On Saturday he felt they had played the eventual Champions of the League. It’s hard to disagree with him after watching fellow contender Man.City fail woefully against Stoke and also disappointing again earlier on Saturday by drawing Arsenal from a goal down. The Blues have been playing like Champions, since the beginning of the season. Going down for the first time, they showed Champions stuff.

  1. JOSE MOURINHO IS A TACTICAL GENIUS

A change of formation at half time from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 coupled with the introduction of Ramires into the middle three in midfield, won Chelsea this game. The inexperienced Gary Monk had no answers.

Jose showed yet again, why he is the best coach in the Premier league.

  1. RAMIRES IS A 4-3-3 PLAYER

I’ve seen Ramires play as a central midfielder in a pivot, at right back and as a winger. The only place I’ve ever seen him comfortable, is when he’s a part of a midfield three, in a 4-3-3. His energy enables him to be the natural box to box player we know he is. On Saturday, he was winning tackles, relentlessly pressing, hitting shots and even had time to assist a goal.

  1. COSTA IS A GOAL KING

Diego’s hat-trick Saturday has shown that he is a player that possesses superb movement and an even more accomplished shot. He will make the runs and when he gets the chance, he will score. He is a predator, who always gets his prey.  He’s got 7 goals in 4 games. What more can any team ask for? He is a complete centre forward.

  1. CHELSEA’S DEFENCE IS THE TEAM’S GREATEST WEAKNESS

Last season, Chelsea’s defence was the best in the league. At the moment, it’s not looking like they’ll repeat that feat as they’ve conceded 6 goals already. The two goals conceded were defensive errors. The first was as a result of an open space through which a Swansea player drove through unchallenged before passing the ball through Ivanovic’s legs to Neil Taylor whose low cross, brought about the own goal. The second goal happened because Terry tracked a Swansea player into midfield, with no one covering for him in defence.

It was a good day for the London Club, as Rivals have dropped points. The team is also finally taking to the philosophy of beautiful football the Russian owner has always craved, and the fans are all the happier for it.

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 Posted by at 10:10 am
Aug 252014
 

Chelsea overcame a resilient Leicester at Stamford Bridge as they grabbed their second win of the season. A strong second half performance cancelled out a rather laboured first half as the blues made it two wins from two in Premier League.

Here are the player ratings:

Thibaut Courtois: Picked up his first clean sheet for Chelsea on a day when he fully justified Mourinho’s decision to leave Petr Cech on the bench. He made crucial saves denying both Riyad Mahrez and David Nugent at 0-0. His one on one save from the latter was a defining moment in the game. Chelsea were caught on the counter attack and Nugent found himself all alone but was stopped by a sensation save from the Belgian. He was colossal in the air winning everything that came his way and crafted many a breakaway with his rapid distribution. 8.5/10

Branislav Ivanovic: It appears the arrival of Filipe Luis has spurred Ivanovic on knowing his position could be under threat as the Serb put in a quality performance yet again. He was a constant threat going forward and was unlucky to not get a goal as Schmeical denied him on two occasions. He played a crucial role in Costa’s opener, marauding forward from right back to floor two defenders with a feint before assisting Costa. 9/10 (MOTM)

Gary Cahill: Solid performance from the ex Bolton man as he kept Leicester at bay, got a vital touch on a Nugent shot in the first half. Didn’t have much to do but was reliable when called upon. 7/10

John Terry: Won every single header against Leicester. Made an excellent tackle to deny Riyad Mahrez and overall showed his class in a first half were Chelsea were poor. 7/10

Cesar Azpilicueta: Didn’t endure his best performance in a Chelsea shirt as his left flank was penetrated a lot in the first half but cleaned up his act with a strong second half showing. 6/10

Cesc Fabregas: Was smartly nullified by Leicester who didn’t allow the ex Barcelona man as much freedom as he h against Bunrley and found it difficult to control the game but still showed his brilliance on occasions. Was unlucky not to score as Schemical saved his attempted chip but nevertheless provided the assist to Hazard which killed game. 6.5/10

Nemanja Matic: A rare up and down performance from Matic who performed below his normal high standards. Although his was caught in possession a bit he also managed to win the ball back a lot. Making some timely interceptions and tackles; he is important player in this team. 7/10

Oscar: A laboured first half performance was put to bed as he came alive in the second half. Was unfortunate to see his brilliant curling smash the post and played a key role in the first goal providing the ball to Ivanovic, quiet afternoon with flashes of brilliance. 6.5/10

Eden Hazard: Appears to still be warming up for the season as he was largely kept quiet by Leicester’s defence. Like many, as the team improved in the second half, scored the decisive goal in the 77th minute as he toyed with the defence before creating space and firing low from the left. 7/10

Andre Schurrle: Not a great performance from the German who struggled to impose himself on the game. His shooting was wasteful and was unsurprisingly substituted. 5.5/10

Diego Costa: Scored his second goal of the season with his second shot on target. Didn’t have a particularly great game but was there when needed. Took his goal well and received a standing ovation when he made way for Drogba. The man to turn draws to wins for Chelsea. 6/10

Substitues:

Ramires: Showcased his qualities in his 25 minute camo, full of energy and dynamism. 7/10

Willian: After Schurrle’s poor showing Willian took his chance to impress and staked a claim for a start next week. 7/10

Didier Drogba: Was given a wonderful reception on his return to the bridge but on the pitch didn’t have time to get in the game. 6/10

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 Posted by at 3:55 pm
Aug 202014
 

Chelsea sent out a serious message to their title rivals on Monday night as they effortlessly dispatched newly promoted Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moore. Mourinho made it six out six for opening day wins as he side cruised to victory in a match they looked to come unstuck in last season. Pre the team announcement much was being made of the goalkeeping dilemma Mourinho was facing. Unsurprisingly he opted for Thibaut Courtois instead of veteran Petr Cech who appears to be on his way. Felipe Luis was also omitted in favour of last season’s tried and tested back four. Burnley took the lead through Airfield’s rocket after fourteen minutes which allowed Burnley fans to dream of the unthinkable. Those dreams were swiftly ruined however as Chelsea changed gears, showed there class and put the game to bed with three goals in seventeen minutes.

Diego Costa got the first. The debutant lashed home from eight yards to bring Chelsea level after some sleek build up play. Fabregas found Ivanovic with a cheeky back-hell who then drilled the ball into the box only for it to rebound of the post and onto the ferocious left foot of Costa. Last season Chelsea’s strikers didn’t score an away goal until New Year’s Day, how times have changed. The second goal was a thing of a beaut, art on a football field. When goals like this come along it really is the beautiful game. Twenty nine passes in total were involved in the build-up as Chelsea had Burnley chasing shadows with their nimble one touch football. The ball eventually dropped to Eden Hazard who somehow evaded four Burnley defenders. He then switched the ball out wide only for Ivanovic to pick out Fabregas who spotted Schurrle’s late run and registered glorious assist as the German tucked the ball home. Fabregas’s pass was precision personified as he weighted it perfectly, a moment to behold. Branislav Ivanovic then put the sword in the coffin as he was left unmarked in the box to bury Fabregas’s corner with a near finish. Chelsea should have had a penalty when Diego Costa was brought down by Tom Heaton. Michael Oliver made the inaccurate decision of booking Costa for diving when replays showed he was tripped.

The football that was exhibited in the first half was mesmeric, breath taking at times. Chelsea made their way through Burnley’s defence like a knife through butter. Movement was abrupt. Passes were meticulous. Tempo was vigorous. General play stayed expansive and slick throughout. At the heart of everything good was Cesc Fabregas. He embodied the gulf in quality between the two sides, the Spaniard roamed around the pitch with an alluring freedom and was the focal point of Chelsea’s attacks, drifting alongside Matic floating in front of the back four and starting moves from deep. The football was tantalizing but at the same time relentless.

The second half saw Chelsea take the life out the game as the Blues took their foot of the gas. What we got was a much more reserved and subdued performance. The intensity was no longer there as Chelsea were content with keeping the ball. The only real chance of any significance fell to goal scorer Airfield who produced a remarkable save from Courtious. Mikel, Willian and Drogba replaced Hazard, Oscar and Schurrle as Chelsea cruised to their first victory of the new season.

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 Posted by at 12:08 pm
Aug 192014
 

Courtouis: Didn’t get the clean sheet he was no doubt yearning on his debut but he could do nothing to prevent Arfield’s rocket. The only save of any real significance was to prevent Airfield, as the Belgian produced a splendid save. He was self-assured and assertive with his positioning and handling dealing well with Burnley’s corners and crosses.   8/10

Branislav Ivanovic: You could argue he got caught out for the goal as he came down his flank but regardless he produced one of his best performances in a while. The Serbian had a hand in all three goals. It was his cross in the box which led to Costa pouncing on the rebound, before playing an exquisite ball into the path of Fabregas which resulted in the second goal and finished it off by securing the points when he was left unmarked in the box which resulted in a tap-in.  8.5/10

John Terry: Did not have much to do and as Burnley struggled to get the ball. That being said you got what you expect from Terry. His lead the team well and was solid in the air.  7/10

Gary Cahill: Similar to John Terry in the sense he didn’t have much to do. Looked shaky at times during Burnleys early pressure but managed to marshal Ings and keep attacks limited.  7/10

Cesar Azpilecuta: Much was being made of Burnley right back Tripper pre match but was kept quiet by the ex Marseille man. He nullified chances and provided his familiar solidity.  7/10

Nemanja Matic: Screend the back four well and allowed Fabregas freedom. Broke up play and kept the ball moving and went about his business quietly in the middle of the pitch.  7.5/10

Cesc Fabregas: I know couple of friends who went extra miles to get Chelsea season tickets just so they can see Fabregas play for us this season and he hasn’t disappointed, so far a glorious performance on his Premier League return. Had a hand in all three goals as a sleek back-hell to Ivanovic resulted in Costa’s equalizer as well as providing the cross for Chelsea’s third. He’s crowning moment nevertheless was his brilliant assist to Andre Schurrle for the second goal, a sure contender for pass of the season. The Spanish international fits perfectly into this side, deservedly got all the plaudits.  9/10 MOTM

Eden Hazard: He appears to have continued were ended last season. Time after time he dazzled his way through the Burnely dance including a marvellous run for the second goal. His trickery was too hot to handle as he continually evaded challenges.  8/10

Oscar: A reserved performance from the Brazilian as he constantly rotated positions. Outperformed by those around him he still managed to provide perpetual quick fluid passes and kept the tempo high.  6.5/10

Andre Schurrle: Got the nod ahead of Willian and repaid Mourinho by being on the end of a stunning moving for the second goal. His neat finish was complemented with sharp passes. A nonstop threat on the right he linked up well with Ivanovic and his vertical runs were a constant theme.  7.5/10

Diego Costa: Opened his account with a rocket of a shot from close range. The £32 million man was a menace all night and should have won a penalty for his efforts as he pounced on a back pass. Unlucky to be booked for simulation, he will be pleased to be off the mark.  7/10

Subs:

Dider Drogba: Replaced Hazard with six minutes to go and almost scored an outlandish volley.  N/A

John Obi Mikel: Came on for Oscar and kept play ticking.  N/A

Willian: Enjoyed a session of a keep ball but didn’t have a chance to make an impact.  N/A

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 Posted by at 10:15 am
Mar 232014
 

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea proved once again that they are superior to their London Rivals, Arsenal. Unlike the first leg in December, the game at Stamford Bridge lived up to its billing – embarrassingly for the Gunners though. Chelsea bounced back from the controversial loss at Villa Park to knock 6 goals past a shocking Arsenal side.

Many expected the game to be tougher than it actually was. It was probably more embarrassing for Arsene Wenger than any other person because the defeat of this magnitude came on a day he was celebrating his 1000th game in charge of the Gunners. The Frenchman and his side were bereft of ideas and the Blues were more than happy to make them pay.

Samuel Eto’o curled the ball past a helpless Szczseny to kick the party off in the 5th minute. Just minutes later, Andre Schurlle added his name to the score sheet. Referee, Andre Marriner made one of the most controversial decisions the game has ever seen. Oxalaide-Chamberlain dove to punch an Eden Hazard shot that was agonizingly close to goal. Marriner – instead of sending Oxalaide-Chamberlain off- sent Kieran Gibbs off instead. Hazard made it 3-0 from the spot.

Oscar scored just minutes before the break after superb work by Fernando Torres. The Brazilian was on hand to add to his goal in the second half before his replacement, Mohammed Salah Sored the 6th goal for Chelsea. The match was surprisingly easy for Chelsea as they put Arsenal to the sword.

Below are the things that stood out.

Arsenal Defence keep shipping in goals.

The people who have argued that the pairing of Laurent Kooscielny and Per Mertesacker is one of the best in the Premier League, will probably change their mind after the shambolic performance against Chelsea. Just like the game against Manchester City [where they lost 6-3] and the game against Liverpool [where they lost 5-1], they keep conceding heavily.

The defenders were often caught out of position; at times they showed little desire in marking their attackers. No manager will be happy with the way Arsenal defended and Arsene Wenger won’t be an exception.

Mourinho continues to enjoy his advantage over Wenger and the Home record.

‘Mourinho has never lost against Wenger’, ‘Chelsea have never lost a Premier League game under Jose Mourinho’ these were the key facts before the game and after the emphatic victory, the streak continues for the ‘Special One’.

The victory of the at Stamford Bridge now means Mourinho has won 6 games in 11 encounters with Arsene Wenger and has Drawn the remaining 5. It remains to be seen if Wenger will ever break this jinx – maybe next season.

Stamford Bridge also remains strong. Chelsea remains the only undefeated team at home with an amazing 44points from a possible total of 48 points.

Salah pops his Cherry

Egyptian winger, Mohammed Salah scored his debut goal for Chelsea four minutes after he replaced Oscar. The former Basel player did well to stay onside before he was picked out with a lovely pass from Nemanja Matic. All Salah had to do was run and run – which he did – before he finished with his left foot to complete the rout. The winger was delighted with his debut goal and couldn’t hide his joy when he spoke to the press after.

“It’s my first goal with the team [Chelsea], so I hope it will be a good start. I congratulate myself and all the people who supported me following my arrival here. Thankfully, I’m living up to the expectations of the technical staff and I hope I will score more goals.”

He also revealed the impact Mourinho has had on him since he came to Chelsea.

“My relationship with Mourinho is very good. I motivated before the game and told me I would score today. I am working with the best coach in the world.”

Chelsea fans will be hoping his good form continues.

Chelsea made an important statement with the victory – A statement of intent. They will fight for the Premier League title till the very end.

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 Posted by at 9:25 pm
Mar 232014
 

It was a sorry sight for Arsenal fans last night as they suffered a record defeat against Chelsea, going down 6-0. The hosts got off to a flying start, with Samuel Eto’o opening the scoring in the opening minutes. Goals and bizarre incidents followed, as Eden Hazard converted from the spot to make it 3-0, after Oxlade Chamberlain hand balled on the line. Almost comically, referee Andre Marriner mistakenly believed Kieran Gibbs had committed the foul, and the full back was dismissed as a result. Reflecting on the performance of his team, Wenger took full responsibility:

‘This defeat is my fault, I take full responsibility for it. I don’t think there’s too much need to talk about the mistakes we made. We got a good hiding today.‘ the French manager said in an interview with the BBC.

While his humility is honourable, it’s hard to see how one could possible blame Wenger for the result – at least as far as his short term decisions are concerned. Given the length injury list that Arsenal currently have, the team all but picked itself, and it’s quite unlikely to think that Chamberlain would feel that his manager was responsible for his decision to hand ball Hazard’s wayward effort that led to the penalty.

In his reaction to the match when speaking with the BBC, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was praiseworthy of his side, before reigniting the debate about video technology.

’10 minutes amazing. The way we started, the way we pressed them, the way we recover the ball and attack the spaces immediately, I think was fantastic.’

Responding to a question about the red card and mistaken identity, Mourinho had the following to say:

It is the kind of mistake that, I think a screen with the fourth official, and the situation is easily resolved. But football doesn’t allow that, and sometimes the referees have this kind of difficulty.’

One can’t help but side with Mourinho in this case. The simple fact that millions of fans around the world instantly recognised an error that could not be brought to the match official’s attention due to the lack of a screen seems utterly bizarre in this day and age.

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 Posted by at 12:42 pm
Mar 232014
 

After a horror gaffe by referee Andre Marriner in Chelsea’s 6-0 demolition of Arsenal last night, the experienced referee has expressed his regret at the error:

“Andre is an experienced referee and is obviously disappointed that an error of mistaken identity was made in this case.

“Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors.

“Whilst this was a difficult decision, Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player. He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue.”

The statement released by the Game Match Officials Board will come as little consolation to Arsenal fans who almost certainly saw their title chances fade to zero at Stamford Bridge last night. The mistaken identity, while embarrassing, was only one of a serious of problems that Wenger’s men faced, and the 2-0 score line after 7 minutes meant that the game was almost certainly beyond them when the incident occurred.

One can only speculate as to what was going through Chamberlain’s mind when he launched himself into the path of Eden Hazard’s shot (which was going wide, replays confirm) and palmed the ball around the post. After match referee Marriner dismissed Kieran Gibbs, mistakenly thinking he was responsible for the handball, questions were immediately raised regarding retrospective action by the officials regarding the associated 2 match ban for a red card offence.

Searches for precedent in such cases reveal the curious incident that took place in November last year, when Preston’s Neil Kilkenny was wrongly dismissed under similar circumstances. In that case, the FA retrospectively lifted the charges on Kilkenny, and banned Joe Garner (the actual offender).

This will be salt into the wounds of Arsenal fans, who could now be without Chamberlain for a further 2 matches. In an already injured ravaged midfield, this puts the Gunners down to bare bones to fill positions in the middle of the park.

 

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 Posted by at 12:39 pm
Mar 232014
 

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea proved once again that they are superior to their London Rivals, Arsenal. Unlike the first leg in December, the game at Stamford Bridge lived up to its billing – embarrassingly for the Gunners though. Chelsea bounced back from the controversial loss at Villa Park to knock 6 goals past a shocking Arsenal side.

Many expected the game to be tougher than it actually was. It was probably more embarrassing for Arsene Wenger than any other person because the defeat of this magnitude came on a day he was celebrating his 1000th game in charge of the Gunners. The Frenchman and his side were bereft of ideas and the Blues were more than happy to make them pay.

Samuel Eto’o curled the ball past a helpless Szczseny to kick the party off in the 5th minute. Just minutes later, Andre Schurlle added his name to the score sheet. Referee, Andre Marriner made one of the most controversial decisions the game has ever seen. Oxalaide-Chamberlain dove to punch an Eden Hazard shot that was agonizingly close to goal. Marriner – instead of sending Oxalaide-Chamberlain off- sent Kieran Gibbs off instead. Hazard made it 3-0 from the spot.

Oscar scored just minutes before the break after superb work by Fernando Torres. The Brazilian was on hand to add to his goal in the second half before his replacement, Mohammed Salah Sored the 6th goal for Chelsea. The match was surprisingly easy for Chelsea as they put Arsenal to the sword.

Below are the things that stood out.

Arsenal Defence keep shipping in goals.

The people who have argued that the pairing of Laurent Kooscielny and Per Mertesacker is one of the best in the Premier League, will probably change their mind after the shambolic performance against Chelsea. Just like the game against Manchester City [where they lost 6-3] and the game against Liverpool [where they lost 5-1], they keep conceding heavily.

The defenders were often caught out of position; at times they showed little desire in marking their attackers. No manager will be happy with the way Arsenal defended and Arsene Wenger won’t be an exception.

Mourinho continues to enjoy his advantage over Wenger and the Home record.

‘Mourinho has never lost against Wenger’, ‘Chelsea have never lost a Premier League game under Jose Mourinho’ these were the key facts before the game and after the emphatic victory, the streak continues for the ‘Special One’.

The victory of the at Stamford Bridge now means Mourinho has won 6 games in 11 encounters with Arsene Wenger and has Drawn the remaining 5. It remains to be seen if Wenger will ever break this jinx – maybe next season.

Stamford Bridge also remains strong. Chelsea remains the only undefeated team at home with an amazing 44points from a possible total of 48 points.

Salah pops his Cherry

Egyptian winger, Mohammed Salah scored his debut goal for Chelsea four minutes after he replaced Oscar. The former Basel player did well to stay onside before he was picked out with a lovely pass from Nemanja Matic. All Salah had to do was run and run – which he did – before he finished with his left foot to complete the rout. The winger was delighted with his debut goal and couldn’t hide his joy when he spoke to the press after.

“It’s my first goal with the team [Chelsea], so I hope it will be a good start. I congratulate myself and all the people who supported me following my arrival here. Thankfully, I’m living up to the expectations of the technical staff and I hope I will score more goals.”

He also revealed the impact Mourinho has had on him since he came to Chelsea.

“My relationship with Mourinho is very good. I motivated before the game and told me I would score today. I am working with the best coach in the world.”

Chelsea fans will be hoping his good form continues.

Chelsea made an important statement with the victory – A statement of intent. They will fight for the Premier League title till the very end.

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 Posted by at 12:26 pm
Mar 012014
 

Didier Drogba has admitted he is looking forward to returning to Stamford Bridge for Galatasaray’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Chelsea with the tie delicately poised at 1-1. An early Fernando Torres goal was cancelled out in the second half by an Aurelien Chedjou equaliser to ensure the two sides head to London for an intriguing second leg clash that is evenly poised with Betfair.com.

Having won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups with Chelsea, Drogba will return to the club he spent a successful eight-year spell for the first time as an opposing player.

Drogba’s last act in a Chelsea shirt was scoring the winning penalty in the Champions League final in 2012 against Bayern Munich, and the Ivorian has admitted he is looking forward to returning to the scene of some of his greatest achievements as a player, hoping to cause a surprise with Betfair fans and help lead Galatasaray into the quarter-finals.

“I am not there yet and I will only find out [how emotional it is] when I am at the Bridge. The only thing I know is that there is still one game to play,” said the former Blues star.

“It will be a difficult game but I think at 1-1 the game is still open, so we’re going to go there and try to create a big surprise.”

 

Coming away from Turkey with an away goal has ensured Chelsea will go into the second leg of the tie as the Betfair favourites to progress to the quarter-finals. Jose Mourinho will have been delighted with the professional job his side did in testing circumstances in Turkey, but the Chelsea boss will be well aware that there is still plenty of life left in this tie.