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Chelsea vs. Tottenham: 6 Things We Learned

Dan LeveneFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2014

Chelsea vs. Tottenham: 6 Things We Learned

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    Chelsea huffed and puffed for 45 minutes before steamrolling Tottenham to go nine points clear of Manchester City.

    A spirited opener from Samuel Eto'o, a penalty from Eden Hazard and two late bonuses from sub Demba Ba had the Stamford Bridge Crowd dancing in the aisles.

    But what did we learn from Chelsea 4-0 Tottenham?

This Game Should Have Been over in the First Minute

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    Samuel Eto'o, shown to be onside by the replays, hurtles toward goal and is upended by Hugo Lloris.

    Red card for the keeper and a penalty to Chelsea.

    That's what referee Michael Oliver should have awarded, but he gave nothing.

    Many will say that a ref isn't going to give a red to a keeper within the first minute of a televised game, but it was a poor call.

    The penalty was far clearer than the one that Eto'o went on to win at the other end of the pitch, which saw the exit of Younes Kaboul in the second half.

    But by then, Chelsea weren't complaining.

Reports of a Bust-Up Between Eto'o and Mourinho Are Clearly Exaggerated

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    Bogdan Maran/Associated Press

    Fresh from Swiss watch-gate, many could forgive the delicate ego of Samuel Eto'o for feeling harmed.

    Is he 32 or 35? Or even, as ex-girlfriend Anna Barranca told The Sun, 39 (h/t the Daily Mail)?

    Eto'o raced into the box, made a fool of Michael Dawson and put the ball past Hugo Lloris—all before athletically surging for the corner flag.

    There he grabbed the upright, bent his body at the waist and, with more than a knowing smirk, assumed the shape of an old man with lumbar pain.

    He later amiably shook hands with his manager, as he was subbed to a standing ovation.

    Eto'o and Jose Mourinho have clearly patched this one up—with a heavy dose of humour.

Chelsea Made a Meal of Breaking Down Spurs

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    Bogdan Maran/Associated Press

    Chelsea, the best counterattacking side in the league, spent almost the entire first half being contained by their visitors.

    And with Tim Sherwood having set his side up with a high defensive line, one might think it was a formation made for Eden Hazard to dance through.

    The Belgian should have scored at the very outset and had a few flashy moments, but he was kept well away from Spurs' danger area until after the break.

    And that has been the story for so much of the season.

    Mourinho will again cite his striker options, but it was in midfield that Chelsea first got it all wrong and then later clicked.

If You've Outplayed Chelsea for 45 Minutes...Be Afraid

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    Bogdan Maran/Associated Press

    Chelsea have developed a reputation of late for being the best team in England over 45 minutes.

    But nobody is ever quite sure whether it'll be the first 45 or the last.

    The Blues showed at Fulham last week that they can follow a half of abject uselessness with one of commanding efficiency.

    And they did the same here against Tottenham.

    Some will insist playing half a good match every week does not make champions.

    But with Chelsea rolling with the punches at their worst and looking unbeatable at their best—maybe, just maybe...

Jose Mourinho Is a Big Fibber

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    He keeps saying his team Chelsea aren't good enough to win the league.

    And week by week, fewer people believe him.

    With this win, Chelsea moved nine points clear of most likely challengers Manchester City.

    Manuel Pellegrini's side have three games in hand and a superior goal difference—so their fate remains in their own hands.

    But with City facing a lot of extra games, thanks to their enduring involvement in four competitions, mishaps can occur.

    Mourinho knows his side are challengers. And, after this match, you have to say they may even be favourites.

    But still, those little fibs continue...

Samuel Eto'o's Mysterious Potion Works Wonders

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    Just before kick-off, Samuel Eto'o, who minutes earlier was expecting an afternoon on the bench, could be seen lifting a small phial of potion to his nose.

    The Cameroonian took a hearty snort, and then his eyes went as wide as Roadrunner's after seeing Wile E. Coyote hoisting his Acme one-tonne weight on a trip wire.

    And just like Roadrunner, meep-meep, he was off!

    For the next 10 minutes, he looked like a man possessed—with a vim and vigour far exceeding his 32 years.

    It certainly seemed to give him a breath of fresh air.

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