Chelsea just about secured the three points after a poor performance against QPR on Saturday, while Jose Mourinho blasted the home crowd for the poor atmosphere at Stamford Bridge. A sublime goal from Oscar put the Blues in front, but Charlie Austin levelled things up. Eden Hazard scored the winner from the penalty spot, but the Blues were far from their best.
The home side saw Diego Costa make a welcome return to action, while Branislav Ivanovic also came back into the team after serving his suspension for being sent off at Old Trafford last week. Many of these players had a rest in midweek when the side edged past Shrewsbury in the League Cup, so they should have come in to this one feeling pretty fresh.
The Blues dominated the early stages, pushing the QPR defence as they looked for the opener. Chelsea finally made the breakthrough just after the half hour mark, through another goal of the season contender from Oscar. Cesc Fabregas once again supplied the assist, playing the Brazilian in, and he curled the ball past Rob Green, and Green even lauded the goal after the match.
Austin unsettled Chelsea when he back-heeled Leroy Fer’s shot past Thibaut Courtois an hour into the game, and it looked like Chelsea could drop points at home for the first time this season. Mourinho’s men pressed, but despite their domination of the game they didn’t look impressive, and it looked as if they could draw for the second week in a row.
But, the Blues got a lifeline with 15 minutes to go when Eden Hazard was brought down by Eduardo Vargas. The Belgian stepped up to the spot and confidently slotted home, as Hazard has done so many times now for Chelsea. That goal was just enough to secure the three points, but the result should have been much more comfortable given the number of chances the home side passed up. They’ve now got a nine point lead over Manchester City, putting pressure on the champions prior to their meeting with Manchester United.
After the game, Jose Mourinho wasn’t happy with the performance from the fans, saying they need to provide a better atmosphere at the Bridge. “At this moment it’s difficult to play at home because playing here is like playing in an empty stadium,” he said. “When we scored was when I realised ‘woah, the stadium is full. Good’.”
Mourinho said that the poor atmosphere affected his team, explaining the poor performance. “The team then starts playing like it’s quiet, soft game at home. That’s what is frustrating. Everyone knows how much I feel connected to this club and the fans.”
But, Mourinho also criticised his team, saying they weren’t good enough. “My team didn’t play well or well enough or so well as I was expecting. With our quality I would expect us to be stronger and to get a different result.” Still, it’s another three points in the bag as the Blues stay top of the pile.
LCN Man of the Match: Oscar