Chelsea Turn Back Time In This Title Race


This weekend seemed to take us back in time.

Goals from Papiss Cisse, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Fletcher made us think we were back in 2012. Manchester United are once again in the ‘Top Four’ and Newcastle United are facing the same relegation fight nightmare they had back in 2009.

Chelsea’s start to the campaign has also been familiar. It’s very reminiscent of Jose Mourinho’s first era in charge at Stamford Bridge back between 2004 and 2007.

The squad have started at a gallop that no competing outfit has been able to keep up with so far this season. No longer can their Portuguese boss call his side the ‘Little Horses’.

Today they managed to brush past London rivals Arsenal without much fuss.

That win means that the ‘Blues’ have now won six out of their first seven outings. They also managed to draw away against last years league champions Man City. That impressive start has seen Chelsea take top spot and already gain a five point advantage over City who lie in second place.

See, that was the Jose formula during his first stint as Chelsea boss. Start off the campaign flying, get some breathing space between themselves and their nearest rivals and then relentlessly march on to the league title in May.

Chelsea, like a decade ago, rely on a strong core through the middle of the team.

Twenty-two year old Thibaut Courtois has replaced Petr Cech as Chelsea’s number one and has looked assured. His presence in between the sticks is dramatic and his aerial prowess can be intimating to opposing strikers. A strong reliable goalkeeper that will only get better in my opinion.

Then there’s John Terry and Gary Cahill. The two English centre-backs have formed a formidable partnership that rarely concedes goals and can threaten at the other end too. Much has been made about Terry’s off the field antics but he’s still a tremendous leader on the park.

Another formidable partnership is that of Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the park. They have been awesome as a duo so far this term. Matic does a lot of the dirty work; getting around the pitch, making tackles and getting the ball back for the team. He will then pass it on to Cesc who seems to find time and space effortlessly. The Spaniard has managed an incredible seven assists in seven EPL games so far. These two work so well together in the engine room and they keep dictating the tempo this season.

Up top they have the highly regarded and heralded Diego Costa. The Spanish striker has power, pace and awareness that remind me of a younger Didier Drogba at the Bridge. He has been clinical so far in the league with his nine strikes in seven games. The bulky forward also does his part defending from the front and getting back and helping out against opposing set-pieces.

That core then gives the creative talents like Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Willian and Oscar all that they need to do something special and help turn games. That said, it wouldn’t be a Jose team if those creative players didn’t have to put in a shift too.

As teams in England’s top flight take in this international break, they will do so thinking ‘what is it we can do to stop this Chelsea team?‘.

There are no easy answers. Mourinho’s men seem equally equipped at digging deep to get the points as they are at passing you to death and creating magic in an instant that can kill games off!

Last season, they were close to the title but Jose knew his squad was missing a few key players. Now with a midfield maestro like Cesc Fabregas and a proven hungry goalscorer in Diego Costa, they have the necessary tools to dismantle most sides in the league.

Chelsea have thrown down the gauntlet, can anyone pick it up and put up a challenge?

Not if history is anything to go by! Jose and his players will now welcome the chase.

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