Wembley was painted Blue on Sunday as Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to claim the Capital One Cup. Goals in either half by John Terry and Diego Costa sealed the deal as Jose Mourinho’s side produced a commanding and professional performance.
It isn’t too uncommon for Mourinho’s tactics to initially come under criticism. But in the end, both fans and foes alike have that enlightened look of comprehension on their faces which says – “He saw it all along!”
When John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma all featured on the team list, everyone was left wondering how Chelsea would set up. It was widely rumoured that Cahill would partner Ramires in the midfield pivot, and would be assigned the job of containing Christian Eriksen.
Reporter: “will Gary Cahill play in midfield?” Mourinho: “wait and see.”
— Harry (@CarelessChelsea) March 1, 2015
As it turned out though, the guess was only half-correct. It was Zouma who was deployed in a more advanced role to contain the Danish playmaker, while Cahill featured alongside Terry at centre-half.
It didn’t take long for everyone to realise that this was in fact a brilliant ploy. Chelsea controlled everything from start to finish and with the exception of Eriksen hitting the bar with a free-kick (Petr Cech looked to have that covered too), there wasn’t too much of a threat to the backline.
Eriksen’s creativity was excellently thwarted by a monstrous performance by Zouma. The 20 year-old Frenchman proved that he has a bright future at Chelsea by performing brilliantly in a position that wasn’t his regular one. As a result of his showing, Terry and Cahill were well within their comfort zones throughout.
Captain, leader, legend
John Terry has been proving all his doubters wrong this season by performing with incredible consistency even at the age of 34. In fact, while it was expected that Zouma would slowly but surely replace him in the starting line-up this year, but it is Cahill with whom the French youngster has been competing with. Terry has been a mainstay.
The Chelsea captain picked up his 13th domestic trophy with the club and 12th as skipper, and put in a man-of-the-match display. He opened the scoring just before half-time and was magnificent at the back, making some vital interceptions and tackles. His diving block to deny Harry Kane in the late stages of the game was truly world-class.
Overwhelmed and outplayed
In the end, there was no fairytale ending for Harry Kane and Co., as the young side found themselves overwhelmed by the Wembley occasion. While there is no doubt that Chelsea’s performance was top-class, but several of the Spurs players never really got going. Kane, on whom a lot was written in the build-up, impressed in bits and pieces but could not provide the end-product.
Now, Mauricio Pochettino will have to make sure that his side are not too bogged down by this defeat as they turn to the Premier League and attempt to secure Champions League football with a top-four finish.
The Chelsea juggernaut rolls on
With one trophy out of the way, this Chelsea side now looks good to go on and win the Premier League. Manchester City’s loss to Liverpool yesterday means that the Blues can go eight points clear at the top by winning their game in hand, against Leicester City.
Mourinho had said previously that he wouldn’t compare this side to the all-conquering one he managed back in 2004 just yet, simply because this group hadn’t won any trophies. After yesterday though, that has changed. The Chelsea players believe that they can win anything they set out to win, and with the progress that they are making, nothing looks like stopping them.