After a close first half, Chelsea pulled away in the second and easily dispatched of Tottenham Hotspur by a score of 4-0. A clumsy challenge by Younes Kaboul and his resulting dismissal gave the Blues space to work with, and the final score didn't necessarily reflect the product we saw on the pitch.
Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring, capitalizing on a mistake from Jan Vertonghen before Kaboul brought down the Chelsea striker and Eden Hazard converted from the spot. Demba Ba added two late strikes to set the final score.
The four-goal difference equaled a personal best for Jose Mourinho, as shared by 8 Fact Football:
A winning margin of four goals equals Jose Mourinho's best in the Premier League.— 8 Fact Football (@8Fact_Footballl) March 8, 2014
More impressive, Chelsea Stats tells us Mourinho's teams have kept a clean sheet in half of their city derbies:
Mourinho has clean sheets in 19 of 38 premier league London derbies. 50%.— Chelsea Stats (@ChelseaStats) March 8, 2014
Eto'o put in an excellent performance and took a subtle shot at his coach during his goal celebration, as reported by NBC Sports Soccer:
After Mourinho's leaked comments saying Eto'o is old, Chelsea's striker celebrated the goal by holding his back and stumbling around. Banter— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) March 8, 2014
Mourinho told Canal+ his team would not be able to win the title because of his lack of strikers and made a reference about the age of Eto'o, as reported by Liam Prenderville of the Mirror.
But the Portuguese coach defused the situation perfectly, as reported by ESPN's Miguel Delaney:
Mourinho on Eto'o's celebration: "I didn't suggest it, but I knew it [was coming]. Best way to defuse situation is to make fun."— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) March 8, 2014
The win gives Chelsea a little more breathing space at the top of the table, but Mourinho was in no mood to speak about the title. His comments on the current standings were classic Mourinho, per Tweet Chelsea FC:
Jose Mourinho - "What I can say not it is very difficult for us not to get a top 4 position, Almost impossible" #CFC— TweetChelseaFC (@TweetChelseaFC) March 8, 2014
His colleague, Tim Sherwood, had less reasons to celebrate. His team put up a good fight for 45 minutes but crumbled after the goal early in the second half and ended up conceding an embarrassing four goals.
As reported by Addicted to Spurs, Sherwood wasn't satisfied by the lack of character his team showed on the pitch:
Sherwood on capitulation: "Lack of characters. Too many, too nice with each other. Need to show more gut and not wanna be someone's mate."— Addicted to Spurs (@AddictedtoSpurs) March 8, 2014
Sherwood: "Still, doesn't legislate for the capitulation. Can't have that." #THFC— Addicted to Spurs (@AddictedtoSpurs) March 8, 2014
CNN's Daniel Wright even felt like perhaps Sherwood went a little too far, as the inexperienced manager was visibly upset at his players:
Maybe Sherwood's trying to shame his players into playing. But it looks unprofessional. Out of his depth, thru no fault of his own #LevyTime— Daniel Wright (@AlfieConn) March 8, 2014
Tottenham Talk didn't have a problem with it, however:
Actually love what Sherwood said, hit the nail on the head with everything.— Tottenham Talk (@tottenhamtalk1) March 8, 2014
If this little goodie (and possibly soon-to-be-viral hit) is any indication, Monday's practise will not be a pleasant one for the Spurs' players:
Vine: Tim Sherwood on fourth place, "wake up." https://t.co/l0T5LzcYpo— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) March 8, 2014
The loss to Chelsea leaves Tottenham trailing Manchester City by four points, and the Citizens have three games in hand. A top-four finish seems all but impossible for the Lilywhites.