Champions elect Chelsea ease to Stoke victory
22nd December 2014 8pm
Champions elect Chelsea professionally disposed of Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium tonight.
The London league leaders took all three points from the Britannia Stadium with goals from Captain John Terry and Cesc Fabregas as Mourinho`s men triumphed without getting out of first gear.
Terry opened the scoring in the 2nd minute of the fixture after he found space in the penalty area and powered home a header from a delicious Cesc Fabregas corner.
An early goal seemed key to Chelsea`s tactics as they killed the game off thereafter.
Mourinho had deployed two holding midfielders in Jon Obi-Mikel and the very impressive Nemanja Matic, to firstly quell the threat of the lively Bojan and more importantly to dictate play and not allow the Potters to control the midfield.
The Blues stemmed the Potters passing game and looked to counter attack immediately when on the ball with the lively front three of Willian, Hazard and Diego Costa breaking forward at pace.
Mark Hughes decided to recall Marc Muniesa after missing last week`s draw at Crystal Palace with an injury, but the Spaniard stepped back into the central defensive berth and impressed again against arguably one of the best centre forwards in the world.
Costa throughout attempted to use his strength and pace to unlock Stoke`s defence, but Muniesa nullified the forward, only lapsing once when Costa ran through after an amazing curved run but the Spaniard fired wide.
Other than the goal and Costa`s missed effort the first half was a non-event except for Phil Bardsley`s late tackle on Eden Hazard, which first got Mourinho off his seat and then the rest of the Britannia Stadium as the crowd picked up and Stoke`s tempo also rose, but to no avail.
The Potters came out in the second half with a bit more purpose and started to play more of their natural game without creating any real clear cut chances.
Both wingers Walters and Arnautovic had a little success over their full backs, but their end products failed time and time again.
Bojan looked lively throughout but was starved of any real possession in positions of danger.
With the score still at 1-0, Hughes played his trump card with Peter Crouch and Geoff Cameron leaving the field for the pace of Mame Diouf and the creative spark of Charlie Adam.
The Potters nearly made the breakthrough through the latter of the substitutes after some good work in the midfield but Adam couldn`t find the target.
Within seconds the game was dead as Chelsea played some intricate passes and with the combination of Stoke`s backpedalling defence managed to double the lead with Cesc Fabregas, who had been released from the grasp of Geoff Cameron managed to finish off the Chelsea attack with aplomb.
Mourinho`s men comfortably saw out the rest of the game and proved why they are head and shoulders above the rest of the league and clear favourites to win the title.
The tactics in which Mourinho deploys makes the Blues solid at the back but so dangerous going forward. Nemanja Matic is the pivot of the whole team and has the ability and time to become the best central midfielder the Premier League has ever seen.