Chelsea cruised over Derby county in our first FA Cup game this season and set up a home game against Stoke City for an all-premier league game at Stamford Bridge. It was a sweet afternoon for John Obi Mikel who made his 300th appearance for the club and marked it with a crucial and rare goal. Chelsea fans went mental as they witnessed the midfielder score for the 2nd time this season with a bullet header from Willian’s free-kick.
Jose Mourinho joked after the game that he didn’t know Mikel had an eye for goal by saying, ‘I never recognize his ability to score goals!’ the Portuguese laughed. ‘I recognize his ability to play as an anchorman, to play that position in a very comfortable way, with no mistakes. He reads the game well, plays in an intelligent and safe way, but I never recognize his goal scoring appetite.’
Without a further a do, let’s look at some important lessons we learned from this game…
Jose respects teams and tradition of English football
The Special One is showing his true love and respect for English football after claiming many times in the past at Real Madrid that he will come to England once he is done at the Bernabeu. And true to his words, the Portuguese has returned and is returning Chelsea to its former dominant years at top the Domestic league as it were when he was in charge almost a decade ago. Not only that, but also we have seen with how Mourinho fielded a strong side against a championship team and showed importance to the traditional trophy in England that is the FA Cup. Well Done Jose!
Rest in Peace, Eusebio!
Another moment of respect to love about English football has been the minutes of silence that were in effect in all FA Cup games to pay tribute to the Portuguese legend, Eusebio who passed away this weekend. Jose Mourinho after wards paid a heartfelt tribute to his countrymen and hero in the post-match comment…
‘For you Eusebio is one of the greatest football players in history. For Portugal he means more than that, no colour, no clubs, no political sides, for Portuguese people Eusebio is Eusebio. In the next couple of days, you will see how much he means to Portugal.
‘I have known him since I was a kid, he played with my father in the national team, he was always sending me presents on my birthday because our birthdays were one day apart.
‘The last time I met him was in Ukraine at the Euros. He enjoyed his life outside the pitch. Guys like him, they never die. History won’t let him die. He leaves a great legacy. Rest in peace.’
Chelsea’s defense is top-notch this season
Now, back to reflecting on the game itself, a main thing we have noticed in many games recently is the solid defense of the Blues that has now achieved 4 clean sheets in the past 5 games during the festive periods. Gary Cahill and David Luiz started the game as captain John Terry was given a rest after long stretch of games. Azpilicueta and Ashley Cole completed the in-formidable back four against a Derby side that was attacking with will. Well done to Jose Mourinho who is responsible for this feature that is really crucial for any top team fighting for many trophies.
Mikel’s fine dedication rewarded with a moment of brilliance!
The Nigerian doesn’t score quite often but, when he does, it is at the most crucial moment you need it and it proved likewise against Derby on his 300th appearance for the Blues. Michael Essien had passed the arm band on to Mikel after he was subbed off and that proved much inspiration for his bullet header from Willian’s free-kick. His performances when called upon were brilliant and it was a great reward to commemorate his importance to this Chelsea side. Here are Jose’s words about Mikel after the game…
‘I recognize his ability to play as an anchorman, to play that position in a very comfortable way, with no mistakes. He reads the game well, plays in an intelligent and safe way, but I never recognize his goal scoring appetite.
‘There was a smile on my face [when he scored]. For some reason Essien gave him the armband, normally it should go to Ashley Cole, so maybe it made him believe he was a goalscorer!
‘It was important for us, we were dominating and dominating, creating and creating but the goal was not arriving. It was like the winning goal.’
Well Done John Obi Mikel! Well deserved
Festive fixtures dealt with properly
When we look at the overall games we had played in the festive fixture starting in December, we have managed properly to get important results over playing attractive football which can be achieved in the long term. Mourinho managed the side into being close to Arsenal and Man City very well in the Premier league table and we have advanced to the next round of the FA Cup. Next game is 6 days after the win at Pride park against Steve Bruce’s Hull City away in the premier league.
There is a good resting period for the players and we now look into finishing the 2nd half of the season in a good way as a battle to finish top of the premier league culminates on ward from here! Let’s go Blues, we can win it! Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed. Follow me on twitter @FahmiCFC. KTBFFH!!!