Three goals from Samuel Eto’o and three points were the result from Chelsea FC’s Sunday match against rivals Manchester United. A late consolation goal from Hernandez made the final score 3-1 Chelsea. United will feel unlucky as the Red Devils played a strong game and had more possession than the Blues.
Strong finishing, not always present for the Blues, was the difference for the home team today as a Chelsea player scored a hat trick against United for the first time since 1954. Eto’o scored a brilliant opener midway through the first half with his left foot. He found himself in space and the Cameroonian finessed a wonderful shot into the left side of the goal, barely slipping by David De Gea’s fingers. The shot was deflected a bit by a United defender, but was still a great effort from the Chelsea striker.
The first goal settled things down for Chelsea and the Blues began to take control of the pitch with Eden Hazard and Oscar both exhibiting great movement throughout the half. David Luiz, often the subject of controversy, was booked in the first half for a late challenge and was all over the pitch as he was playing in his deep midfield role again.
After impressive movement towards the end of the half Chelsea had one last corner resulting from a blocked Luiz free-kick. Cahill slid the ball across the area with Eto’o sliding in for his second goal of the match. The visitors were visibly distraught after letting in a second, and the home team was supremely confident while heading to the dressing rooms at half.
Chelsea was awarded a corner kick shortly after the restart that would see Cahill and Eto’o heavily involved in yet another goal. Cahill headed a Willian straight at De Gea, and Eto’o slammed in the rebound to complete his hat trick.
The third goal seemed to put the game out of reach, but the Blues began to play sloppily in the last twenty minutes and the Red Devils capitalized with a goal twelve minutes before time. Petr Cech almost made a costly mistake by mishandling a back pass and had to cleverly turn Hernandez near the goal line before clearing to safety.
Fernando Torres replaced the hat trick hero and little used Matic came on for hardworking Willian. After a scary last ten minutes the whistle finally blew and the Blues escaped with a win that was much closer than the 3-1 scoreline would indicate.
Jose Mourinho was very pleased with Samuel Eto’o and his man of the match performance, but he lamented about his team’s performance towards the end of the match stating that the whole team just seemed tired. He was obviously happy with the three points, but he wants a complete team performance next time out. Mourinho also broke a Premier League record by reaching 100 BPL wins in the fewest amount of matches at 142.
There are many positives to take from this match such as strong striker play, but the Blues are still a work in progress. Two points off of leaders Arsenal, the Blues look forward to taking on Stoke City next week to stay within striking distance of their North London rivals.