As the second Super Sunday of the season approaches fast, Jose Mourinho will know that he cannot afford to slip five points behind Manchester City this early in the campaign.
In truth, I think Chelsea will be more than happy to settle for a point at the Etihad, especially after how the opening weekend went.
The Champions may not have had the preparation they have wanted with the Eva Carneiro situation dragging on in the press.
Some have suggested that Jose is using it as a deflection tactic, to divert the attention away from his side’s average performance against Swansea last week, but you can bet your bottom dollar he wouldn’t have wanted it to have gone on this long.
When he and his team should be preparing for potentially one of the biggest games of the season, the world and his wife have been having their say on what happened when Eden Hazard stayed down late in the game at Stamford Bridge.
The general consensus is that the Chelsea team doctor has been very harshly treated, but if a manager’s got a policy that you don’t go on the pitch until you are instructed, then Jose will certainly feel that he is within his right to say what he has said.
He wouldn’t however have wanted to pick up the papers as late on in the week as this to see the saga rumbling on.
All told, I feel he will be happy to play for a draw against City on Sunday, especially after the way the Citizens played against West Brom.
Yaya Toure’s second goal was just a joy to watch. It was just football of the highest quality, so what Chelsea have got to do, is something that West Brom failed to do, and stop them playing.
Many will criticise teams for ‘parking the bus’ or playing for the draw, but there’s more skill in it than that.
There are lots of different aspects to football. Swansea went to the Emirates last year and defended really well and then sucker punched late on to score the goal, and you see sides doing it all the time. There’s a skill and an art to it.
You don’t have to go and play expansive football, and allow the home team to beat you, so you’ve got to adopt a tactic that is going to suit your team on the day
And there is no one better than Jose Mourinho at setting a team up to stop the opposition and then nicking the game late on.
He’s not going to change that, he’s not going to take Manchester City on in terms of play, even with the quality players he has at his disposal. It will be a disciplined performance that is for sure.
They’ve done it before, knowing that their home form is generally very good and that they will win most of their away games, so to get a point away against the big boys will be acceptable.
It’s hard to judge on one game, but City looked like they were back to the heights of the side that won the league in 2014. The movement from the likes of Raheem Sterling and David Silva meant that their players were here, there and everywhere and West Brom didn’t know whether to stick or twist.
In the end, they did nothing and they got destroyed. Chelsea will be a different proposition entirely though for Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
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