Premier League wrap: Chelsea answering their critics in fine style
Despite the off-field shenanigans threatening to derail Chelsea, the Blues have been in scintillating form, writes Alex Sharp
It has been a rough ride for Chelsea in the past few weeks but their actions on the pitch should be a major step towards redemption.
Firstly, the John Terry debacle has been dragging on for over a year, with the defender eventually excepting his fine and a ban which he started against Spurs on Saturday.
To increase the disdain amongst the public, Chelsea have had another furore to deal with surrounding Ashley Cole’s petulant tweeting and subsequent fine.
Their public reputation is on the brink which is a grave shame considering the smooth, silky football Chelsea are playing right now.
Behind the headlines, the Blues are flourishing into title contention, leading the way in terms of points and style ahead of their Manchester rivals.
Di Matteo’s men swept aside Arsenal a couple of weeks back but now face a much more stern test against Manchester United full of confidence.
The signs are good for the west Londoners: only once in Premier League history has a team totalled more points after eight games – and that was when Chelsea themselves hit 24 in 2005 compared to their current 22.
Jose Mourinho grinded out trophies for Chelsea, they were resolute but had a ruthless streak.
Ever since Barcelona and Chelsea collided in heated Champions League battles in the Ronaldinho era, Roman Abramovich has dreamed of replicating the tiki-taka football.
So gone are the days of suffocating opponents and giving nothing away. Chelsea’s display against Tottenham on Saturday encapsulated the new era perfectly.
Spurs had their chances, perhaps in the absence of disgraced captain Terry, but Chelsea seemed undeterred and poured forward in glorious fashion to conjure up some Barcelona-esq play.
Sadly for Chelsea, Fernando Torres still appears to be off the ball and isn’t finding the back of the net frequently enough.
But that doesn’t seem to matter at the moment, the three behind him are a wonderful blend of pace, trickery and class. Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata are bamboozling any wall of defence in their way and just need a striker in their ranks to finish the numerous chances.
Just imagine the potential of this side if they still possessed the power of Didier Drogba.
Mata described Roberto Di Matteo as the “perfect manager” on Tuesday. It appears that despite the off-field shenanigans, the dressing room is united and relishing playing under the Italian.
If Chelsea can continue to replicate such devastating football and keep the harmony at the club, the west Londoners could once again be celebrating another Premier League title.
The football is awesome and long may it continue to banish the recent headlines tarnishing this fine side.