CHELSEA 6-0 MARIBOR - TO A MAN CHELSEA WERE DIFFERENT CLASS!
Chelsea beat Maribor with ease last night at Stamford Bridge. Goals from Loic Remy, Didier Drogba...
Chelsea beat Maribor with ease last night at Stamford Bridge. Goals from Loic Remy, Didier Drogba, an own goal and two from Eden Hazard ripped the Slovenian side apart.
After our unbeaten start to the season, plenty of comparisons are being made to the back-to-back title winning sides of 2004 and 2005. Compared to last season, Chelsea look to have taken a massive step forward and although it's early days, the signs are getting better and better.
Despite the scoreline, Maribor started the better of the two sides and had a really good first twelve minutes as Chelsea struggled to get going.
Once Chelsea upped their game and started to pop the ball about, there only looked to be one winner. Jose had made some changes to the starting eleven with Petr Cech coming in to replace Courtois, Filipe Luis came in for Azpilicueta and Kurt Zouma came in for Cahill.
One criticism of Chelsea in recent seasons was the fact that we never looked to kill teams off and at times, would make life difficult for ourselves. Last night we showed no mercy and it was so pleasing to see.
One negative from the night was the injury to Loic Remy who managed to pull his groin as he struck a left foot shot into the bottom corner on thirteen minutes to make it 1-0. He was replaced by Drogba shortly after and by all accounts is now OUT of our clash with United on Sunday.
A rather harsh handball halfway through the first half led to a penalty being awarded to the Blues. Eden Hazard steps aside and gives Didier Drogba a chance to score his first goal since Munich. He slots it home in an almost identical strike into the bottom left corner to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead - game over.
Chelsea's third goal said everything about Chelsea to me, everything from the old to the new and it was a joy to see.
Back in our own box defending a corner and Drogba, at the near post as he always is, clears the ball away from danger. Eden Hazard is onto it like a flash and takes the ball into their half and towards goal.
While this is happening, John Terry has taken a chance and has made a run from his own box through the middle and Cesc Fabregas is busting his lungs to get up to the right hand side of Hazard to give him an option to pass to. Hazard obliges, slides it wide right to Fabregas and his first time cross finds Terry who slots the ball home from six yards to make it 3-0. It was an excellent counter attack that Chelsea have become accustomed to.
No changes at half time and the pattern of the game remains the same. Eden Hazard, Willian, Filipe Luis and Nemanja Matic are bossing the game. Their work rate up and down is immense and in the attacking third Eden Hazard is having one of those days where he is simply unplayable.
Chance after chance is wasted for one reason or another but we don't care. Chelsea's football for the most part is irresistible and we love it!
Chelsea's fourth came from the impressive Luis as he is played in behind the defence. As a tackle comes in, he leaves the defender on his arse and squares the ball to Hazard who takes a touch and fires the ball back across goal. Unfortunately for Maribor, it takes a deflection off the defender on the near post and goes into the net.
Chelsea's fifth came from an Eden Hazard penalty after Ivanovic is brought down in the box and with ease, he converts from eighteen yards to keep his impressive record from the spot going.
Our sixth was different class. Maribor are out on their feet as Nathan Ake sprays a fifty yard pass over the top to Hazard who's first touch is fantastic. He cuts inside, flicks the ball back outside and strikes the ball into the far corner giving the defender and goalkeeper no chance!
Chelsea were different class last night and different class all over the pitch. It was good to see Nathan Ake and Dominic Solanke given some important playing time too. Ake in particular played well, made some important tackles, had a shot high over the bar and that pass to Hazard - excellent.
So Chelsea march on in the Champions League and face Maribor in the return fixture in the next few weeks. We sit two points clear of Schalke but they now have to travel to Lisbon while we are in Slovenia and anything can happen. A Chelsea win would put us in total control.
As for last night, I'll have more of the same on Sunday at Old Trafford!