Chelsea's 6 Most Thrilling Matches so Far This Season
With only nine games remaining of their Premier League season, Chelsea are top of the league. The 2013-14 campaign has been a stark contrast to the past two seasons, and any concerns that Jose Mourinho’s return would see the Blues play “boring” football have been alleviated by several thrilling performances.
Let’s take a look at six of the best from the season so far.
Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City
Manchester City traveled to Chelsea back in October as the team to beat. Most Blues supporters would have happily taken a draw before the game, and it looked like they would get their wish. However, after a hard-fought contest, a mistake by City ‘keeper Joe Hart allowed Fernando Torres to nick the last-minute winner for the home side and send the Chelsea supporters into raptures.
Bayern Munich 2-2 Chelsea (Bayern Win 5-4 on Penalties)
Chelsea had been embarrassed in the 2012-13 Champions League campaign after winning the competition in 2011-12. They dropped into the Europa League and suffered several scares en route to the final. However, they brought the big vase home from Holland and set up a rematch of the 2012 Champions League final.
Bayern Munich had a score to settle from that fateful night, but Chelsea had a point to prove. They opened the scoring with a superb team effort before Franck Ribery equalised to send the match into extra time. Eden Hazard put the Blues in front again early into added time, but a Javi Martinez strike with the last kick of the game sent it to penalties.
Unlike the 2012 shootout, the German champions beat Petr Cech with each kick, and when Romelu Lukaku missed the final spot-kick, they had gotten their revenge, albeit on neutral ground.
Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool
Chelsea failed to break their habit of conceding goals from free kicks as they went 1-0 down inside three minutes of this match. However, the supporters got behind the team, and they rallied to score two goals.
Liverpool tried everything they could, but the Blues knocked them off the top of the league with a 2-1 win.
Stoke City 3-2 Chelsea
Chelsea have not been unbeatable this season and have looked vulnerable to set pieces since last summer. However, Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium is never an easy place to go, and the Potters proved why they have such a good home record with a 3-2 win over Chelsea.
The Blues began brightest, with Andre Schurrle opening the scoring inside 10 minutes. Goals either side of halftime from Peter Crouch and Stephen Ireland put Chelsea on the back foot, until Schurrle got his second of the match.
It looked likely that the points would be shared, but substitute Oussama Assaidi had other ideas. His 90th-minute winner saw him booked for excessive celebration as the Blues received an early blow to their title chances.
Chelsea 4-0 Tottenham
Chelsea view Tottenham Hotspur as their fiercest London rivals, and the atmosphere at these derby games is always electric. The first half was an evenly matched affair, with Spurs having the better chances and Chelsea being wasteful in possession.
Whether Jose Mourinho said more than six words at halftime is debatable, but it obviously worked. The home side forced four errors from the Tottenham back four, which led to three goals and a penalty, giving Chelsea their biggest victory over Spurs since the 2001-02 season.
Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea
Perennial strugglers Sunderland gave Chelsea a scare at the Stadium of Light. Jozy Altidore gave the Black Cats the lead, before Frank Lampard quickly restored parity. Eden Hazard put Chelsea in front before halftime, but John O’Shea leveled things up again just after the break.
Hazard made it 3-2 to Chelsea, before Phil Bardsley decided to make his mark on the match by scoring an own goal. He atoned for his mistake just two minutes later to make it 4-3, but the home side did not enough time left to salvage a point.
All match data from WhoScored.