Yesterday was a huge result for Chelsea. We played against a side that had a large minority of team members who many of us would gladly have had in our squad and yet we still came out as victors. It is not often that one can really respect opposition in our league but players such as Aguero, Silva and Toure are simply terrific.
But back to the club that I actually love and support. Oh my word, has Torres changed in a fortnight. Has the demotion of Mata given our number nine the kick up the posterior that he needed? No longer do we see the moody outbursts (ok – just not as many as usual) nor the head down when the ball does not land perfectly at his feet. The speed and skill on display are exactly what we remember our striker displaying when he played against us for Liverpool and it has been a long time coming. The way he brushed Clichy away with his pace was astonishing and for once we were singing Torres’ name with genuine belief – no sarcasm, not out of prayer… just simply rewarding a breath-taking performance.
The skill on display yesterday was astonishing from every player. The standouts were Ivanovic, Terry and Ramires while Cech always seemed to be in the right place when City threatened to score. Admittedly for the first fifteen minutes the visitors dominated but encouraging signs began to develop and for the rest of the half including the goal it was all Chelsea. Manchester City were the better team again for the first period of the second half and there was simply nothing we could have done for Aguero’s goal. A brilliant finish.
It appeared both sides were going to settle for a point. Mikel came on, Lampard came off. Schurrle off, Willian on. Then, just after the usual numbskulls began to leave ten minutes from the end something changed. Eto’o was brought on – was the apparent defensive tactic twenty minutes earlier from Jose simply a spoof? We had that stroke of luck that has been missing – a wayward backpass intercepted by Torres. Despite our worries during that split second that he had the ball at his feet he still managed to bury it in the net. Cue the most I have celebrated a Chelsea goal in a long while.
Manchester City is a club that I feel some association with. Both our clubs play in similar colours; we have always been in the shadow of our rivals; we have similar senses of humour; at our most successful the media still tries to tarnish our image. But the similarities end there. The difference between our clubs is that Chelsea were already successful before Roman injected his fortune in our club. There was some heart and soul there on the pitch. Without trying to be personal it does not feel the same at City despite the talent they have and whenever I have been to their new stadium the atmosphere does not feel quite right either... one could argue something similar with Real Madrid which seems to sign players purely for shirt sales rather than for building a team.
Things are beginning to gel and this is the best feeling I have had in my bones for a long while. Upcoming league fixtures are not that terrifying. Come on Chelsea and come on Jose... tomorrow's match at Arsenal is one that we should really be looking forward to and a win for the team in blue could cause some real psychological damage on Wenger's side.