Cardiff 1-2 Chelsea (Premier League) – 11th May 2014

Chelsea wrapped up their season with a win after coming from behind to beat Cardiff City in the Welsh capital on Sunday.

Second half goals from Andre Schurrle and Fernando Torres secured the win after Craig Bellamy gave Cardiff the lead in the first half. The Blues have finished the season in third, four points off Premier League winners Manchester City.

Last weekend’s draw with Norwich meant that Chelsea were out of the title reckoning on the final day, which led to a rather subdued atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium given the Bluebirds also had nothing to play for after already having been relegated. Jose Mourinho made several changes, with young defender Tomas Kalas coming into the back four.

Chelsea started off the stronger, and could have been ahead but for Steven Caulker blocking an early shot from Torres. It was the home side who struck first, with Craig Bellamy’s effort deflecting off Cesar Azpilicueta and going past Mark Schwarzer.

The Blues certainly didn’t deserve to be behind at half time, and they changed things after Andre Schurrle came on for John Obi Mikel. The German got them back on level terms, volleying in after David Marshall had saved Azpilicueta’s effort. Chelsea took the lead three minutes later, with Torres slotting home from six yards.

Mourinho brought on some young talent as the game went on, with Nathan Ake replacing Mohammed Salah and John Swift making his debut in place of Eden Hazard.

Cardiff pushed forward looking for an equaliser, but to no avail. The Welsh side were already relegated, and finished bottom of the table, and that looked deserved on this performance, as they couldn’t live with the glimpses of class shown by the visitors.

After the game Jose Mourinho reflected on the season and also looked ahead to his side’s transfer business this summer. “We deserved it, we played well, especially for an end-of-season game, when a team is playing for nothing apart from pride and evolution,” he said. “The boys found the right approach, that we couldn’t find against Norwich. From the first minute we played well, we created chances.”

“The result at half time was a contradiction because we had all the play, all the chances, and Cardiff were winning the game. In the second half they pushed even harder, Andre was an extra man in attacking areas and we really deserved the victory.”

“We don’t need a new spine, the structure is there. We need a couple of players to help the team get to a certain level immediately. After that, if somebody wants to leave, somebody has to come but basically our work in the summer isn’t a big amount. It’s about the right choices and trying to be successful.”

Blues fans will hope “the right choices” include a couple of top-class strikers given Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba just haven’t cut the mustard this term. But whether they can land a real game-changer remains to be seen. If they do they will challenge for the title next season, if not they could struggle to make the top four.

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