West Ham 0-1 Chelsea: That was our "Blackburn moment" of ten years ago!
You remember ten years ago at Blackburn? Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side quite literally dug in to grind out a result that proved to be ...
You remember ten years ago at Blackburn? Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side quite literally dug in to grind out a result that proved to be a pivotal moment in the title race. Under a barrage from the home side, a saved penalty by big Petr Cech, the Blues stood firm and fought for every single ball until the final whistle was blown. That's exactly what happened last night at West Ham!
This wasn't pretty but then again it wasn't going to be playing a Sam Allardyce side! However, to their credit, West Ham came at us and tested us time and time again but with some heroic defending, some great goalkeeping and the little bit of luck that you need; Chelsea came away with a MASSIVE three points to maintain their five point lead in the title race.
Of course there were moments when we could have killed the game if we had taken our chances but you have to credit their goalkeeper and back four for doing the same as at the other end. Adrian made a good save and their defence blocked a shot from Willian after being played square by Eden Hazard, which looked like sealing the game for Jose Mourinho's men.
It was nice to see Jose stick with Kurt Zouma in midfield with Cesc Fabregas and Ramires playing either side. All of them had good games and Zouma in particular did the job that he had been asked to do once again.
Literally everyone worked hard last night which is a fantastic sign. Mourinho called the team "Brothers" last night and it seemed that way.
What can you say about Eden Hazard that hasn't already been said? Another great performance with another goal to go with it. He's always a constant threat and in games such as these when you need to dig in and defend, he did it. Then, when you need someone to take the pressure off of the back four and to hold onto the ball, to start attacks, he did it.
My man of the match was a toss up between Gary Cahill and Thibaut Courtois. Both were simply outstanding. Courtois showed himself to be a real presence again by coming and taking balls out of the air to deny the home side on numerous occasions to relieve the pressure. Courtois also made some great saves to deny West Ham but for me it has to be Gary Cahill.
After a difficult time of late and losing his place in the side to Zouma, Cahill has put in two strong performances in the last two games but last night was the best of the them. You only have to look at the last ditch tackle to deny a goal after a shot rebounded off of Courtois to see the Cahill of old, sniffing out danger and make important blocks and tackles.
This really was a performance of Blackburn away all those years ago. It wasn't great, it wasn't pretty but Chelsea demonstrated their resilience and togetherness to deny the home side.
What a massive result that could turn out to be!